When we talk about sexual abuse and paedophilia, it is important to mention that this type of abuse to minors do not always occur through physical contact. The non-contact abuse happens when the child is exposed to pornography or to explicit images that he or she gets from the abuser, who usually takes on social networks to get in contact with its victims and convince them to do things most kids do not understand. Generally, the child gets threated by the abuser of hurting them if they dare to tell their parents. That’s when children fall into a kind of abuse known as grooming.
As for the times when the kid gets physically abused, it is common that they keep the situation to themselves, as they get worried of being judged or reprimanded. Also, it can happen that the kids start getting a considerably serious lack of confidence. According to a study held by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Bureau, a sexual abuse is a worrying reality, 3 of 4 teenagers has been sexually abused by someone they know, 16 of 1000 children in ages between 12 to 17 have suffered some sort of child abuse, and 15 of 30 kids have fallen in a case of grooming.
The attackers usually practice a variety of modalities to manipulate their victims, being child pornography and intimidation two of the most common ones. Due to how difficult it results for the victim to talk about the situation, there are certain signs that parents can look for if there’s the doubt of sexual abuse on their kids. Physically, the affected child can show difficulty to walk or to sit down, burning, swelling and even bleeding on the genital area. As for the behavioural aspect, the minor can show premature sexual behaviour or extensive knowledge on the matter. The victims can also hurt themselves, have nightmares, develop phobias, and even changes on their hygiene habits.
It is important to know that when this form of violence is presented against minors, the psychological damage can last a lifetime. Thus, comprehension, support and love towards the victim is the most valuable asset we can offer to mend the harm.