Child sexual abuse has become very rampant in our society. A week hardly passes by without the sad news of yet another incidence of a child sexually abused by an adult filling the air.
The stories we hear are only a small number of child sexual abuse cases; many go unreported and maybe, unnoticed. The impact of child sexual abuse is overwhelming on the victim, parents, loved ones and the society.
Children are vulnerable, they are also very easy to convince and lure; making them an easy prey for perpetrators of this inhumane act. A lot therefore rests on parents and stakeholders to ensure that children are protected.
Sexual abuse leaves a child physically and mentally battered. It always affects a child in very significant ways both in the short-term and long-term. Both boys and girls can be victims of sexual abuse, but girls are six times more likely to be abused.
Sometimes a child who has been sexually abused would inform his/her parents or someone else about the incidence. This is especially true for children who are verbally expressive.
There are however some children who are not able to tell anyone when they have been sexually abused. Despite this, there are signs an observant parent would notice which should raise some level of curiosity in them about their child’s well-being.
In other words, a child is never really silent after being sexually abused. He/she would always reveal in some way or another that sexual abuse has taken place. So, here are some of the warning signs that a child has been sexually abused:
- Bleeding, pain or discharges in the genital, anus or mouth
- Bruises on and around the genitals or mouth
- Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
- Inflicting injury on self
- Constant complaints of headaches or stomach aches
- Developing new and unusual fear of a particular person or certain situations or environment
- Crying for no apparent reason
- Sleep problems
- Suddenly has money, toys or other things without the knowledge of a parent
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Demonstrating sexual knowledge, behavior or curiosity beyond his/her age
If as a parent you observe any of these signs in your child, you should act fast. So much depends on your prompt action.