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What do we need to know about child sexual abuse? From symptoms to supportive measures

Study guide

Child sexual abuse is widespread and comes in many forms. Having nude pictures of children, forcing them to be naked or masturbating, doing or watching any sexual activity in front of children, encouraging them to have sex in front of the camera, not preventing them from seeing sexual activity, touching them sexually (whether dressed or undressed) ), Or having sex with them are all a form of sexual harassment and a crime. According to statistics, sexual harassment is much higher in girls than boys. Here are some things that can be a sign that your child has been sexually abused.

Signs of child sexual abuse

A child who has been sexually abused does not usually talk about it because of threats, fear, or remorse. Girls also do not talk about sexual harassment out of shame. They think they are to blame for the problem and are therefore afraid to tell the story.

Sometimes the abuser tells them that they should keep it a secret or threaten and intimidate them by taking videos and photos. Rape causes many long-term and short-term psychological and physical injuries in children. You can be aware of the possibility of this problem due to behavioral, emotional changes and the following symptoms.

The severity of these symptoms varies depending on the age of the child, the frequency of the rape, the severity of the abuse, and the relationship of the abuser to the child.

1. Emotional changes

  • Anxiety;
  • Stress;
  • Depression;
  • aggression;
  • Nervousness;
  • Isolation;
  • Fear of loneliness;
  • Nightmare;
  • Crying for no reason;
  • Feelings of shame and guilt;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Fear of a particular person and not getting close to him.

۲. Behavioral changes

  • Suicide;
  • Drop in grades;
  • Enuresis;
  • Change friends;
  • Self-harm;
  • Reduced learning;
  • Absenteeism in classes;
  • Headache or stomach pain;
  • Lack of focus on lessons;
  • Different clothes;
  • Increase or decrease appetite;
  • Lack of interest in playing;
  • Avoid hobbies;
  • Receiving gifts from unknown people;
  • Drug or alcohol use;
  • Difficulty walking or sitting;
  • Difficulty in establishing or maintaining a relationship;
  • Asking weird questions about secrecy;
  • Many calls or messages from anonymous numbers;
  • Excessive use of the Internet or telephone and anger afterwards;
  • Performing inappropriate sexual behaviors or repeating sexual words.

3. Sexual or physical changes

  • Pregnancy;
  • Irregular period;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Pain in the genital area and anus;
  • Sexually transmitted infections such as discharge;
  • The effects of smoking on the body;
  • Burning and pain when going to the bathroom;
  • Bruising of the thighs, buttocks and soft parts of the body.

Who are child abusers?

The perpetrators are usually adults and teenagers, most of whom may be men. Of course, sometimes women also abuse children and may sexually abuse children. In 90% of sexual assaults, the rapist is familiar and the rape takes place in the home of the child or rapist.

To begin with, abusers often attract the child by giving him or her gifts and food or by having fun and playing with him or her. If the abuser is familiar, never confront him. This confrontation, in addition to the perpetrator not admitting his guilt, re-motivates your child to be threatened and sexually harassed.

What to do if a child is raped?

1. Talk to your child

Encourage your child to talk to you. If you are not close, ask your grandparents, friend, teacher or other person for help. After your child has spoken to him easily, reassure him that he has done his best to tell the truth and that he is not to blame.

۲. Watch your child play

Children often express their feelings through childish play and words. They usually express their stress and unhappiness when playing with their toys as anger and rage. In that case, ask him why he is angry and calmly ask why; For example, ask him: “How much is the fight between your toys?” Or “Wow, are their fights so terrible?”

If the child is not ready to answer, be silent and ask at another time to find out what is bothering them.

3. Reassure your child

Some children do not understand sexual harassment and think that the abuser is upset and angry with them. In these cases, by asking “Is anyone upset with you?” Find out slowly if anyone has infringed on the child’s privacy. If your child tells you not to tell anyone, never promise; Because if you tell the story to others, their trust will be taken away from you. Instead, tell them that you only tell the story to those who can help.

Calm your child and tell him that he should not be afraid of anything. Prove to your child that you are always supportive.

4. Invite your child to calm down

Actions after child sexual abuse

If the child is aggressive, talk to him or her and tell him or her that his or her behavior is not acceptable. The child should know that by continuing this behavior, he may harm others and himself. An angry child will definitely not answer you right away; So deal with your child’s aggression appropriately and let his or her anger subside. Then give him a chance to express his anger.

5. Keep him away from scary news

Today, bad news such as war, terrorism, violence, and crime are readily available on social media. This news causes irreparable harm to the child and increases their fear. Let the child ask his or her own questions. Do not hide all the news from the child. This, in addition to intriguing him, makes the child even more frightened; Because he thinks that something important must have happened that you are hiding from him. Also be honest in answering your child’s questions.

Reassure him that he is safe with you and that you do whatever is necessary to keep him calm.

6. Finally, take the necessary legal action

If sexual harassment occurs, contact the police as soon as possible. Do not forget to go to a forensic doctor 24 to 48 hours after the rape to check for residual effects on the child’s body and clothing and to determine the type and severity of the rape.

Which children are most exposed to sexual abuse?

The first and most important danger is for children who spend a lot of time on the Internet and social networks. Chitromas are usually the best place to find victims. Children with disabilities, especially children with speech and verbal problems, are three times more likely to be raped; Because they do not have the ability to tell others what happened or to understand the aggression.

Neglect of children, low self-esteem in them, loss of a family member, lack of attention and love for children, isolation, etc. can be other causes of sexual abuse in children. Sometimes parental quarrels, divorce, and the death of a member cause children to become isolated and depressed or to be neglected by their parents. The best way is for a trusted person such as an aunt, uncle, aunt, uncle, teacher or counselor to talk to the child to reduce their pain and discomfort.

How to prevent sexual abuse in children?

  • Teach them to say no;
  • Give them confidence and self-esteem;
  • Explain healthy and unhealthy relationships with others;
  • Explain the word secrecy to them;
  • As children get older, talk to them about their body and gender;
  • Explain privacy to them, such as sleeping, dressing, and bathing;
  • Monitor children’s use of the Internet, mobile phones, satellites and the like, and do not neglect the harms of cyberspace for children;
  • Have a friendly and intimate relationship with your children so that they can easily share everything with you.

The last word

The most important factor in preventing child sexual abuse is intimacy and closeness to children and providing a calm atmosphere for them. Children need to know that they are supported by the family under any circumstances. By giving children full education and awareness, teach them how to deal with the abuser.

Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you should consult your doctor or specialist to use it. more information





What do we need to know about child sexual abuse? From symptoms to supportive measures

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