Is your child being sexually abused? Here are the signs . . .

By admin
26 August 2013

Parents are the first line of defence against child molestation. But how can you tell if your child’s the victim of sexual abuse or molestation?

Parents are the first line of defence against child molestation. But how can you tell if your child’s the victim of sexual abuse or molestation? Look out for the following:

Your child:

  • Has emotional outbursts and unpredictable behaviour.
  • Shows aggression towards the mother (or father if he’s the main caregiver).
  • Is withdrawn and suffers from depression.
  • Plays sexual games with dolls, toys or even playmates
  • Has eating difficulties
  • Has disrupted sleeping patterns.
  • Suffers from separation anxiety and is unusually clingy.
  • Has feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.
  • Is obsessed with sexual organs.
  • Masturbates excessively.
  • Has guilt feelings  – refers to themselves as naughty and says others think they’re naughty.
  • Complains about feeling sick, but has no symptoms.
  • Wets the bed.
  • Suddenly starts becoming hyperactive.

Steps to take if a child says they’re being abused?

  • Believe them.
  • Praise the child for having the courage to talk about it.
  • Explain they’re not to blame for the molestation.
  • Explain you have to report the abuse and reassure the child you’re getting help for them.

If you suspect a child is being abused, seek help immediately. Contact a social worker you trust or Childline on 0800-055-555.

Sources: YOU 7 April 2005, childcaresa.org.za

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