Child sexual abuse is more common than people think. Although it is hard to get an accurate number, because many times it goes unreported, Human Services found that about 10% of children reported to be victims of sexual abuse. In addition, they assume there are far more each year that go unreported. The important thing for parents and guardians is to know how to recognize the signs that a child is being abused so they can get the treatment and help that they need.
Here are a couple signs of sexual abuse in children:
1. Regression of Behaviors
A common sign that a child has been traumatized or abused is a regression of behavior. You might notice that the child is wetting the bed, sucking their thumb, or forgetting things that they once learned. Regression comes as a form of self-protection. The child may feel scared, nervous, or confused and regress back to a time when they felt safe and comfortable.
2. Unexplained Fear Of People Or Places
If a child is suddenly scared to go to a certain place that they have been before or is unusually nervous around certain people, there might be foul play. The child could be getting bullied, pressure into doing things they don't want to do or abused.
This can be hard to recognize because many children loose interest in school and other activities. But if your child is scared to go to school everyday, you might want to investigate further to see if there is a particular reason.
3. Inappropriate Knowledge Of Sexual Things
Some children who have been abused will have an understanding about sexual things beyond what you have taught them. For instance, if they have words for adult body parts, or new words for the private parts of their body, this may be cause for concern. No one should be talking to the child about sexual things, except a medical professional or the parents in a controlled environment.
If your child is acting our sexual things with their toys or objects, or talking about their body in a way you haven't taught them, you should investigate further.
4. Harming Themselves
If the child has been abused they might become depressed and even hurt themselves. Some children burn, cut, or bite themselves, in addition to other forms of self-harm. If your child is doing this it is a good sign that they have been abused. These are signs of a decreased self-worth.
These are just a couple signs that a child has been abused. If you suspect anything, take the child to get professional help immediately. For more information, try contacting a company like Living Hope Clinic to learn more about how to protect and look out for your children.