Child Sexual Abuse Prevention -Protect Your Children From Abuse Resource

 

National Center on Sexual Exploitation - Resource for Parents

 

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5 Steps to Protecting Our Children- Guide to Protect Children From Sexual Abuse


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Possible Signs of Child Molestation

The younger the child, the more difficult it is to determine if your child has been or is being molested.  A great tool to help you assess the possibility of molestation is the following Signs of Child Molestation produced by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.  Following the signs, we'll discuss some actions to take.

Signs of Sexual Exploitation in Children: Parents, grandparents, and guardians should be aware of the signs noted below that could indicate your child has been sexually molested. You should note that some of these behaviors may have other explanations, but it is important to assist your child no matter what the cause of these symptoms or behaviors.

  • Changes in behavior, extreme mood swings, withdrawal, fearfulness, and excessive crying

  • Bed-wetting, nightmares, fear of going to bed, or other sleep disturbances

  • Acting out inappropriate sexual activity or showing an unusual interest in sexual matters

  • A sudden acting out of feelings or aggressive or rebellious behavior

  • Regression to infantile behavior; clinging

  • School or behavioral problems

  • Changes in toilet-training habits

  • A fear of certain places, people, or activities

  • Bruises, rashes, cuts, limping, multiple or poorly explained injuries

  • Pain, itching, bleeding, fluid, or rawness in the private areas

 

If you observe any of these behaviors, talk to your child about the causes. Behavioral changes such as these may be due to causes other than sexual exploitation such as a medical, family, or school problem. Also keep in mind that sometimes children do not always demonstrate obvious signs such as these but may do or say something that hints at the exploitation.

Information adapted from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. 
 

Child Molestation Conclusion: As you can see from above, the signs can be caused by other things and, even if no signs are present, molestation may be happening.  If you suspect molestation, take actions to verify your suspicions.  Investigate with your child, the child's friends, teachers, friend's parents, etc.  If, at any age, your child confirms your suspicions, you must report it to your local government for their investigation.  To get more information on helping your child recover or to recover yourself, visit our page http://www.way2hope.org/child_sexual_abuse.htm
 

Possible Behavioral Indicators of a Child Sex Trafficking Victim

  • an inability to attend school on a regular basis and/or unexplained absences

  • frequently running away from home

  • references made to frequent travel to other cities

  • bruises or other signs of physical trauma, withdrawn behavior, depression, anxiety, or fear

  • lack of control over a personal schedule and/or identification or travel documents

  • hunger, malnourishment, or inappropriate dress (based on weather conditions or surroundings)

  • signs of drug addiction

  • coached or rehearsed responses to questions

  • a sudden change in attire, behavior, relationships, or material possessions (e.g., expensive items)

  • uncharacteristic promiscuity and/or references to sexual situations or terminology beyond age-specific norms

  • a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” who is noticeably older and/or controlling

  • an attempt to conceal scars, tattoos, or bruises

  • a sudden change in attention to personal hygiene

  • tattoos (a form of branding) displaying the name or moniker of a trafficker, such as “daddy”

  • hyperarousal or symptoms of anger, panic, phobia, irritability, hyperactivity, frequent crying, temper tantrums, regressive behavior, and/or clinging behavior

  • hypo arousal or symptoms of daydreaming, inability to bond with others, inattention, forgetfulness, and/or shyness

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Source: Terry Real, Relational Life Institute