Signs of sexual abuse in girls
Children are afraid and embarrassed to tell someone. It also can be a stranger. Lives in a rural or low-income area. Here are the signs to be aware of and what to do if you suspect a child is being sexually abused. You can talk directly to the police or your local children's social services and this can be anonymous. Where to get help Child Protection Service — to report child abuse. Children often talk about the abuse a little at a time.
If you suspect sexual abuse you can talk to someone who is trained to help. Things to consider Certain situations put children at a higher risk of sexual abuse. Nine out of 10 children know or are related to their abuser. Academic changes falling grades, missing assignments, repeated absences. Child sexual exploitation Children who have been sexually abused are also at risk of sexual exploitation, in which children are sometimes passed around a network of abusers for sexual purposes. Many abusers threaten the child to prevent disclosure. Sexually inappropriate behaviour — children who have been abused may behave in sexually inappropriate ways or use sexually explicit language. If children are being sexually abused, there may be physical signs such as bleeding from the vagina or anus back passage , sexually transmitted infections STIs or poor hygiene. Behavioral Signs Child sexual abuse survivor Melisa describes her cries for help that just seemed like bad behavior: Sexual abuse also referred to as sexual assault can be experienced by anyone. It has long-term effects on the child. What are the signs of sexually transmitted diseases or infections in boys and girls? The risk of childhood sexual abuse is low. Acting younger or going back to doing younger tasks and activities Sudden changes in behavior Fear of being alone with a certain person Sudden, unexplained fears of certain places or kinds of people such as all people with a particular feature or characteristic Fear of being touched Changes in quality of schoolwork or grades Substance abuse Self-mutilation or careless behaviors resulting in self-harm Excessive play with their own private body parts Persistent sex play with friends, toys, or pets Frequent drawings that have sexual content Unusual, persistent, or developmentally inappropriate questioning about human sexuality These changes might not be dramatic, but could include several subtle changes. Healthcare professionals have also learned a great deal about child sexual abuse and its effects from these stories. Children who live in families where there is child neglect, for example, are more at risk. Listen to your instincts. Increased openness and a willingness by adult survivors to discuss sexual abuse, as well as the development of service support networks, has led to greater community understanding of this issue. It's best not to delay if you suspect a child is being sexually abused. Fear stops sexually abused children from seeking help Most women and men were too scared to report the abuse while they were children. If your child uses sexually inappropriate language. Common misunderstandings of sexual abuse Many misunderstandings surround the sexual abuse of girls and boys. In the long term people who have been sexually abused are more likely to suffer with depression , anxiety , eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Your child may also be at higher risk if he or she: Remember, you are not alone. Older children may shower more to cleanse themselves of what they perceive as shame and embarrassment. The child has enough secrets and needs someone to act on their behalf to stop the abuse.
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