It is common for children who are being sexually abused to keep the situation to themselves, as they feel worried or ashamed of telling somebody older, fearing they might judge them or reprimand them. Knowing it is very hard for them to open up and speak about it, we offer you a few things you should look up for in a child when you have the suspicion they might be getting abused on a sexual manner.
Firstly, we must keep in mind that 93% of the victims under 18 already know the abuser, as they might be family related, or else. The predators don’t always have to be grown adults, as it is considered that an age gap of three years between the victim and the abuser is an age difference sufficiently important to create harm. Abusers can manipulate the victims by using a variety of tactics, one of them, and perhaps the most common one is to intimidate the child.
The signs we should look for on a child we presumed is being sexually abused are as follows:
- On the physical side, the victim might present difficulty at walking or sitting, pain, burning and itching, as well as bleeding and swelling in genial areas.
- On the behavioural side, the child might present suicidal thoughts, nightmares or bed-wetting, development of phobias, self-harm, inappropriate sexual behaviour, or sexual knowledge too explicit for their age, showing depressing behaviour and changes on hygienic habits, like refusing to shower or, doing it repeatedly and constantly.
It is important that, if you notice any of the characteristics mentioned above on a child you know, try talking to them and seek for help, because it is possible that he or she might be a victim of grooming or physical sexual abuse.