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What is the sexual abuse? Sexual abuse is any sexual activity with or without violence between an adult and a minor, or between two minors when one exercises power over the other. It is also forcing, coercing, or persuading a child to engage in any type of sexual activity.
It also includes sexual contact but without direct contact such as exhibitionism, exposure of minors to pornographic material, voyeurism or engaging in sexual communication over the phone or the Internet.
3. Talk openly about the matter with your child. Understand why children are scared of 'counting'.
- The abuser tends to manipulate, threaten and shame the child, accusing him of having allowed the abuse to occur or telling him that his parents will be angry when they find out.
- Children do not disclose abuse for fear of disappointing their parents.
- The abuser convinces the child that the abuse is 'okay' that it is a 'game'.
- Talk to your children. Communication will build trust.
- Talk to your children about their body, how to take care of it, defend it, etc. 'My body is my territory and nobody touches it without my permission ', should be a motto for boys and girls.
- Instruct your children not to give their email address, or their address or home phone, etc.
- If the child is uncomfortable or reluctant to be with a certain adult, ask why.
- Share information about child sexual abuse. This way, potential abusers will know that you are alert.
4. Learn to detect and identify indicators of sexual abuse.
- Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare, however irritation, swelling or rash in the genital area, urinary tract infections, or other symptoms should be investigated carefully.
- Emotional or behavioral signs are more common, which can be identified by anxiety, chronic abdominal pain, constant headaches, perfectionist behavior, withdrawal or depression, even inexplicable anger and rebellion.
- When the child talks openly about sex in an atypical way for his age, it can also be a red flag.
- In the event that there is any suspicion of sexual abuse, take the child immediately to the doctor.
5. Don't overreact to a possible case of abuse. Report it!.
- Find out, know how to react. Know where to go, who to call, and how to react. Sexual abuse is a crime.
- Your reaction has a great impact on a vulnerable child. If you respond with anger or disbelief, the child withdraws into himself, and will feel even more guilty.
- Always offer your support to the child. Listen to him, don't doubt his word and believe what he tells you. Make sure he understands that. Thank the child for telling you and acknowledge his courage.
- Encourage the child to tell you everything, but not to go too deep into details. That can alter your memories of the events.
- Seek help and guidance from a trained professional to speak with the child. Seek to know the legal steps to report. You must know the bodies and / or institutions with powers to report sexual abuse of a minor.
- Don't panic. Children, victims of sexual abuse who receive support and psychological help, can overcome it.
6. Always act, even if you only have suspicions and no evidence.
- The future well-being of a child is at risk. Suspicions and lack of evidence may scare you, but trust your intuition and have the courage to report or inform a child protection service.
- Look for the social services of your locality, or some office of defense of the rights of the minor. The important thing is that you act.
7. Get involved. Volunteer to support organizations that fight against child abuse and sexual abuse.
- Use your voice and your vote to make your community a safer place for children.
- Supports legislation that protects children.
- Break the silence. Prevention as well as recovery depends on it.
>>> Go to Part I of the article >>>>
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