My City Woman's blog on child sexual abuse

Child Sexual Abuse – How To Recognise and Prevent It

Child abuse can be an extremely traumatizing experience for the child; and for the parent, no less.
What’s also disturbing is that sometimes the child may not even know that he or she is being subjected to an abuse. They may not be able to express or confide in the closest of family member. It gets more complicated when it is the caregiver who is responsible for the abuse. As responsible parents, we need to keep ourselves alert and identify any sign of abuse in our children.

How can sexual abuse happen?

Well, anywhere and though anyone.

We have enough news hitting us in the press that sexual abuse is possible everywhere. Really the child is safe nowhere; be it  school, neighbourhood, playground or even your own home. We’ve also read stories of monster dads and moms, there is nothing that is left  to imagination. Sometimes, a child may also abuse another child. Its alarming and yes, every worth being aware of.

How to recognise:

 The signs may be physical or behavioural. Physical symptoms can be detected much easily than the behavioural ones.

Physical symptoms:

According to www.mayoclinic.org, the symptoms may include:

  1. Pain in genital areas, trouble sitting or walking.
  2. Blood stains in the undergarments
  3. Signs of physical injuries that do not match explanations given by the child
  4. Sexual knowledge or behaviour inappropriate of child’s age
  5. Sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy
Behavioural symptoms:
  1. Excessive aggressive behaviour
  2. Sudden reclusive behaviour
  3. Unwillingness to go to school
  4. Uneasiness on seeing a particular relative
  5. Suicidal tendency

The crux is to watch out for sudden changes in the behaviour of the child that is causing him or her to be reclusive, defiant, aggressive and/or depressed or even suicidal. If you feel the need for professional help, consult a child psychologist.

How to Prevent Child Abuse

It is imperative that we do whatever is in our capacity to ensure that our child never has to face abuse. Prevention is always better than cure. Here are our suggestions on how to prevent sexual child abuse:

1. Raise an aware child – Discuss the topic openly at home. There is no shame in telling the child that it is wrong. Equip your child with the knowledge of “good touch” and “bad touch”. You can buy illustrative books meant for children that also explain it well. Your child is the best judge of a bad touch and must be equipped to express it.

2. Be approachable : Create that trust in your child that you are available to them whenever they need you.

3. Know your child’s circle of influence : Get to know people with whom your child interacts on a daily basis.

4. Talk to the child daily : Set aside sometime during the day when you can have normal conversation, as a family. Generally, just before sleep time is ideal for it.

5. Screen nannies before employing them : It is important that you choose the caregiver of your child with utmost care and caution. Do their background check before employing them. If possible, install cameras at home to monitor your child while you are away at work.

Child abuse can leave scars for a lifetime. We may not be able to control every situation or the kind of people our kids get exposed to. What’s essential is that we raise an aware child and inculcate the knowledge as part of growing up.

If you found this article helpful, do leave in your comments here.

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