If You Spot A Child With One Of These Tell-tell Signs…take note.
Someone within your proximity may be sexually abusing a child and you don’t even know it. There are tell-tell signs that you can help identify such a grievous act is taking place.
We will tell you what these signs are and how to counter them and help do your part in preventing and protecting a girl from sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse is more serious than you think.
- One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of eighteen.
- The majority of the rape victims Ripples International has come across have happened when the child is below thirteen years.
- 75% of abuse cases are family members and additional 10% are acquaintances of the child.
- Nearly a third of girls and 18% of boys in Kenya suffer some form of sexual violence before they are 18, according to a study published in 2010 by the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef).
First of all, we need to define what child sexual abuse is.
According to E Medicine Health Journal, child abuse is defined as “…a variety of harmful behaviors directed against children.”
Child sexual abuse includes any activity that uses a child to create sexual gratification either in you or in others.
Do The Warning Signs Suggest Child Sexual Abuse?
Although the touching of children as a sign of affection and for hygiene is considered normal and necessary, there is a way to distinguish normal touching from child sexual abuse.
The key is the intention by the perpetrator to be sexually aroused by the activity or the intention to create sexual arousal in others.
It’s important to note that the desire to use children in any way to create or gratify sexual arousal is a crime.
Unfortunately, there are people in society who take it too far and in the process abuse children, destroying their lives, education, social systems and resulting in a life full of torment, hate, and physiological disorders.
Therefore it can take many forms, from sexual abuse to pedophilia, physical abuse, child neglect, emotional trauma, and psychological abuse. The victims in this case – the child- is usually not in potion to speak out forcefully in the matter.
The girl child is usually the silent victim under the oppression of a elder male authority figure. These figures include the father, uncle, older male relative or in many cases a male teacher.
The instances of boy child undergoing sexual abuse from an elder female authority are not strange. However, the statistics of rising girl child abuse continue to rise,
These 13 Warning Signs Suggest Child Sexual Abuse
- Making a child uncomfortable by ignoring social, emotional, or physical boundaries or limits.
- Refusing to let a child set any of his or her own limits; using teasing or belittling language to keep a child from setting a limit.
- Insisting on hugging, touching, kissing, tickling, wrestling with, or holding a child even when the child does not want this physical contact or attention.
- Turning to a child for emotional or physical comfort by sharing personal or private information or activities that are normally shared with adults.
- Frequently pointing out sexual images or telling inappropriate or suggestive jokes with children present.
- Exposing a child to adult sexual interactions without apparent concern.
- Having secret interactions with teens or children (e.g., games; sharing drugs, alcohol, or sexual material)
- Spending excessive time e-mailing, text-messaging, or calling a specific girl-child.
- Being overly interested in the sexuality of a particular child or teen (e.g., talks repeatedly about the child’s developing body or interferes with normal teen dating)
- Insisting on or managing to spend unusual amounts of uninterrupted time alone with a child.
- Seeming “too good to be true” (e.g., frequently babysits different children for free, takes children on special outings alone, buys children gifts or gives them money for no apparent reason)
- Frequently walking in on children/teens in the bathroom.
- Allowing children or teens to consistently get away with inappropriate behaviors.
What Do You Do Now?
Now that you know, you need to pay keen attention any time a child exhibits any of these signs.
These warning signs suggest child sexual abuse.
If it’s a child you know, use your wisdom and better judgment to approach the child and ask them if there is anything they would like to talk about. Ask them if they are afraid of anything and get them to gradually confide with you what’s going on.
If you determine the matter to be a grave matter of sexual molestation, then don’t react in anger. The child may mistake that to be a reaction against her.
We wrote an article about how to go about getting the child to open up. What you need to do at this point is ask the child if there is any older person at home they trust.
Then approach the person with the child and share the information with them and urge them to report the matter to the nearest Child Protection office for further investigation.
In case the child is not familiar to you, call your nearest Child Protection office, report the matter and ask them to investigate it further. If you are absolutely sure, then there is only one course of action. Report it to the Police! But be absolutely sure.
Remember, it could be happening right under your eyes.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Let’s do our part in reducing the statistics of child sexual abuse in our community.