Saturday, February 20, 2021

Parents: Warning Signs of Sex Abuse

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If you are a parent, you may be alarmed at the recent news exposing child sex abuse in the last few years. This is a common problem across the globe that can devastate the health and well-being of a child long into adulthood. Child sex abuse victims can be both boys and girls; there is no determining factor for the preference of some abusers. Even worse, children can feel shame and trauma from the event, therefore, it is important to know the signs to look for. 

For as traumatic of an experience as this is for you as a parent, it is much, much worse for the victim. Keep these signs in mind if you ever notice or suspect that your child has been sexually abused. 

Your Once Energetic Child Becomes Withdrawn

This sign may not always suggest sexual abuse, especially if your child is undergoing adolescence. However, if your kid was once full of energy and joy, and has now become sullen, irrational, and depressed, sexual abuse could be a possibility. Sexual maturity is not normally apparent in a child or an adolescent; the thoughts are misunderstood or do not register with children as they do with adults. 

One way to cope with sexual abuse is for a child to withdraw inward from the world. The shame and incomprehension of the abuse will render the child helpless in processing complex emotions. 

Your Child Becomes Secretive

In some situations, an abuser may coerce a child into multiple occurrences of sexual abuse. The abuser will swear the child to secrecy about the event or, more severely, may even threaten the child with harm or harm to his/her loved ones if the victim speaks out or resists. This can create a pattern where your child may start lying about simple things or engage in secretive behaviors about normal things, such as grades or where they are going. 

Again, a child becoming secretive may not be a direct sign of sexual abuse, but it certainly a symptom of this trauma. 

Your Child or Adolescent Engages in Self-Harm

If a child or adolescent has been sexually abused repeatedly or even from one traumatic occurrence, the child may engage in alarming examples of self-harm. This can include cutting themselves or subjecting themselves to dangerous situations. Eating disorders, like Anorexia and Bulimia, can also stem from abuse and trauma. 

If you notice your child engaging in self-harm, seek medical help first, and then try and work with your child to have them open up to you about what has caused this behavior. But sometimes, this can, unfortunately, lead a young victim of sexual abuse to resort to a state of denial about the abuse or even refuse to speak about it because of the shame they feel. 

Your Child Starts Bullying Others

Bullying can be a way for a child to take out their pain and frustration on other kids or teens. It could also be an outlet for them to feel to like they have regained some power and control.If your child suddenly starts bullying others or bullying other family members, this could be a symptom from a traumatic event, like sexual abuse, that they are releasing as a rage against other people. 

Contact an Attorney

If you suspect your child is being sexually abused, this has likely thrown your entire family into chaos. These cases can be very hard to prove and bring to justice, but attorneys like those at Lane & Lane in Chicago, IL are committed to helping your and your child survive this traumatic experience. They will fight for your child’s rights and work hard to bring the perpetrators to exposure and justice. 

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