Sunday, September 13, 2015

Is Your Child Being Sexually Abused

Sexual abuse is unfortunately no longer limited to teenagers and older age groups. Little children, even as toddlers fall prey to long-lasting sexual abuse. Sex predators find it a lot easier to prey on children because it is stress-free to take advantage of their innocence. Sadly, the fast-paced lifestyle of many families and the obligations of many parents outside the home make it difficult for them to notice signs of sexual abuse in their children. Many parents in the past have regrettably assigned the unbecoming behaviors of their children to growth sprouts and entering into a different age group, unaware of the fact that their children are exhibiting signs of abuse. 

The first clear sign of abuse is withdrawal. After being sexually abused especially by a member of the family or a teacher, many children retreat into their shell, and can spend hours locked up in their rooms, speaking to no one in particular. It is normal for children to exhibit this behavior as a result of abuse, because generally, children tend to be caught in a personal fable where they think no one else understands what they are going through. Of course, withdrawal might be a result of hormonal changes in the body or growth into a new phase of life, but just to be safe, make sure to cross abuse off your list. 


Another sign of abuse which often goes unnoticed is an overly familiar relationship between the child and the sexual predator. Children mostly do not know when they are being abused; hence they tend to believe in lies told by their predators. One such lies is “this is a game I made just for the two of us.” The children are drawn by the idea that they are more special than others, hence they tend to gravitate towards their abuser rather greatly. Unfortunately, most sexual abusers are family members, hence the sudden closeness between the child and the predator tends to go unnoticed. 

How do you know if your child is being abused? 

First things first, communicate with your child; not just on a general level but with intricate details about every event. Many parents ask their children “how was school today?” and of course the general response to that is “fine”, after which the questions halt and give way to some other topic of conversation. Don’t stop at general questions. Ask questions that require details in their responses like “what did you do today? Did you spend time with your teacher? What did he or she ask from you?” Ask questions that give you all the information you need to paint a vivid picture of your child’s day in your head. 

Earn your child’s trust. This is where many parents fail, especially with teenage children. Parents try so hard to enforce laws on their children, and fail terribly, while those who leave their children to walk whichever paths they please end up raising societal monsters who feel entitled to everything. Where is the middle ground? Negotiation. You are more likely to win your child’s trust by negotiating certain decisions with them than you are if you were to absolutely enforce those decisions. If you earn your child’s trust, you’ve opened the lines of communication so well that your child would feel comfortable enough to tell you if there is any suspicious behavior on the part of a teacher or a family member. 

Sexual abuse of children is rampant, and it is important that you protect your children. If you have any more tips, do share. XOXO

1 comment:

  1. Nice piece. God will protect our children even as we do our best as parents


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