It is for parents to determine from the various abnormal signs that a child shows as to what may have triggered the abnormalities in them. Children are more susceptible to sexual abuse because of their immaturity and lack of understanding of what they are being subjected to, so that the victimiser can easily get away with their crime as the child may not come up and tell you what has been going on, either out of fear, embarrassment or plain and simple ignorance.
PROMINENT BEHAVIOURAL TENDENCIES IN A CHILD AND AN ADOLESCENT
There are a few prominent signs that a child or an adolescent both show, which indicate towards their having been subject to possible sexual abuse or molestation. Your child may seem distracted or distant, may sketch, play or often have nightmares of disturbing sexual images, may be overcome with rage and insecurity at intervals, may show a drastic change in eating habits, may develop a sudden fear against specific people, and may be repulsed by their own body or exhibit sexual behavioural knowledge. Other more significant signs include when they get too friendly with a person way older than them, start possessing all sorts of gifts, including money.
SIGNS THAT ARE MORE COMMON IN A CHILD
There are certain signs that are exclusive of only children. Some of these signs include, older children acting like younger children and contributing to activities unsuited to their age, such as soiling or wetting the bed. Your child might want to abstain from removing clothes before a bath, during bed time or while toileting, they might ask their friends or other children their age, to behave sexually with them, they might impersonate adult-like sexual behaviours using toys, and they might have new names for private body parts.
SIGNS THAT ARE MORE COMMON IN AN ADOLESCENT
There are signs that are general in adolescents, which may include, chronic depression followed by self-harm and attempts at suicide. Other distinct signs include insufficient personal hygiene, drug and alcohol misuse, promiscuous behaviour, irrational eating habits, resistance to intimacy or nearness, and elopement from home. All of these signs indicate the possibility of sexual abuse.
Physical signs of sexual abuse are exceptional, but if there are any signs similar to the ones mentioned in the following lines, it is high time for one to pay heed taking matters seriously and trying to figure out the root cause of the physical problems your child may be facing. Make sure you get your child to see a doctor immediately. Physical warning signs include constant pain during bowel movements or urination, discolouration, unusual discharges from open areas in the body, also un-habitual and unintentional wetting or soiling.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHEN YOU COME ACROSS THESE SIGNS
If you come across any of these behavioural or physical signs, do not wait to gather proof of sexual abuse, instead take safety measures instantaneously making sure you can keep track of any mishap henceforth. Look out for and be aware of any unfavourable behaviour that can assault your child’s safety. If you doubt anything, come to the open with your doubts and get in touch with associations like Stop It Now! Online Help Center to seek help and support if you are struggling with queries regarding child abuse.
These behavioural signs may sometimes not be very recurrent but may only come to the surface during stressful situations such as separation, death, anxiety and anything that gives rise to mental agony. Thus it is very important to take note of any kind of unexpected anomalous behaviour in your child and get to the depth of it to understand whether your child has been a victim to sexual abuse.