Signs Of Sexual Abuse

The signs of sexual abuse of the untold, as well as, descriptions of what entails childhood sexual abuse is covered in this article.

Ask most parents what their worst nightmare besides the actual death of their child is, and the vast majority of their replies will be "someone abusing my baby." By abuse, most will mean the sexual abuse of their child.

Childhood sexual abuse is not a rare occurrence. Most statistics state that one in three girls will be sexually abused before their twelfth birthday and one in five boys. Since a large portion of sexual abuse is never reported, the actual occurrence may be much higher than that.

Many people are under the misconception that sexual abuse only involves intercourse. This is NOT true. Sexual abuse can be touching, looking, forcing the child to touch or look at an adult and pornographic pictures or movies being taken or forced to watch. Other types of abuse include oral or anal sex and even sexually suggestive remarks.

So many times a survivor who tells of the abuse later in life will be criticized for not telling as a child when in actual fact they did tell. They just didn't verbalize it or if they did, no one listened.

Behavioral changes are often one of the most common signs. These changes can include any or all of the following:

Sudden fear or refusal to spend time with someone the child is well acquainted with or even a relative of.

On the same note, a seemingly unreasonable fear or refusal to go to certain places.

Some children will runaway from home whereas others will turn to drugs or alcohol.

With many, eating disorders can be traced back to sexual abuse. Some will over eat to intentionally gain weight in the hopes they will no longer be attractive to their abuser. Others will feel they have no control over what happens to their body so they attempt to take control by means of bulimia or anorexia.

An honor roll student may suddenly drop in all subjects. A previously average student may become an over achiever to try and find some sense of self worth.

Nightmares are a common part of sexual abuse. Many times they will have a sexual connotation or have murderers that will never die no matter what is done to them.

Confusion and loss of time. Often a child will push the memory of the abuse away even as it is happening to them or they will disassociate themselves from the event. When this happens the child often has periods of time that they simply can't account for.

Another way a child abuse victim may try to escape the emotional pain is through self-mutilation.

Others may feel that suicide is the only means of escaping the abuse.

Some will start lying or stealing where before they would never dream of it. Stealing can become an addictive high that enables the victim to forget briefly the abuse.

A sudden interest in sex or genitalia in young children. Compulsive sexual activity in older ones.

Pregnancy may be the first sign the victim is having any type of relationship. A twelve year old or younger girl with no boyfriend who is pregnant is not uncommon in any labor and delivery room.

Sexually transmitted diseases, repetitive yeast or urinary infections may also be a clue.

Sudden fear or refusal for medical exams.

A sudden self-consciousness of their bodies. Most four or five year olds don't care who sees them naked but a victim of sexual abuse may hide from even their mother.

Fears of attics, closets and bathrooms. These are isolated areas where abuse can often take place uninterrupted.

Hiding underwear or clothes in odd places. Finding blood spots on them when the child is too young to be having a menstrual cycle.

Migraine headaches are not uncommon in abused children.

Artwork can often show signs of abuse. Excessive use of blacks and reds, pictures of violence or death.

Being caught abusing or attempting to get other children to perform sexual acts. Statistics show the majority of abusers were themselves abused as children. By no means does this justify the abuse of children but it does show the repetitive cycle of abuse.

These are just a few of the possible signs of sexual abuse. If you suspect your child is or was abused, get professional help immediately. Regardless of the circumstances, an adult is always to blame for the sexual abuse of a child. Ask the child and make it clear that you will not blame him or her in anyway if your suspicions are correct.

Dealing and trying to stop sexual abuse in a family without proper help is destined to fail. If abuse is happening to your child or to a child you know, contact the proper authorities and ask about crisis support help. Anyone who knows of the abuse of a child and does not report it is liable to arrest for neglect, aiding and abetting in the crime as well as a multitude of other possible charges. For a person who knows of abuse and does nothing, he or she is as guilty as the abuser himself.

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