Child Molestation Prevention

The signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse must be carefully identified, the abuse stopped, with professional counseling provided for the child in order to offset long-term emotional and psychological effects of having been abused.Child Sexual Abuse Statistics Reported cases of child sexual abuse in the United States are estimated at 80,000 children each year, according to federal statistics. One in three girls will be sexually abused before she reaches the age of 18. One in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Fewer than one in ten of these children will report the abuse. Most of these children will carry the emotional scars and guilt of abuse for the rest of their lives, and many (especially men) will sexually abuse others as adults.What Is Child Sexual Abuse? Sexual abuse can be any sexual act performed with a child, to a child or in the presence of a child for the sexual gratification of another, ranging from unwanted touching, kissing to sexual intercourse. It can also involve solicitation, pornography, forcing, tricking, bribing, threatening, online enticements or pressuring a child into sexual activity.Who Commits These Crimes? Most sexual abuse is committed by people the child already knows such as friends, relatives, caregivers, trusted adults as well as complete strangers. Sexual abuse takes many forms and can involve forcing, coercing, bribing or threatening a child into sexual activity. The abuse often begins gradually and increases over time unless discovered.Signs of Sexual Abuse Physical evidence of abuse is rare, but may include bladder and urinary infections, scratching and painful genitals (especially during urination), torn, stained or bloody undergarments. While there is no one behavior that positively indicates a child has been sexually abused, sudden or extreme changes in behavior should be considered as a possible reaction to abuse. Some children may not show any changes in behavior.The following are behavior changes - - that may occur in children who have been sexually abused:Fear or dislike of certain people or placesSeductive or "sexy" behavior towards adults or peersProblems in school, poor gradesWithdrawal from family, friends, or usual activitiesAdvanced sexual knowledge for the child's ageRegressed behavior, such as bedwettingEating disorders, eating very little or excessive eatingHostility or aggressive behaviorsDrug or alcohol problemsSuicidal thoughts or attemptsWhy Dont Children Tell?Most children don't tell even if they have been asked, refuse to talk about it or deny that something happened because:Are too young to put what has happened into wordsWere threatened or bribed by the abuser to keep the abuse a secretFear that they will be taken away from their familyAre afraid no one will believe themThe abuser promised gifts or rewards for keeping the secretBlame themselves or believe the abuse is punishment for being "bad"Feel too ashamed or embarrassed to tellWorry about getting into trouble or getting a loved one into troubleWhat Can Parents Do To Keep Children Safe?Remember, the person who abuses a - you can try here - child is to blame for the abuse, not - see page - the child!Always know the people who care for your children, including names, phone numbers and addresses.Be actively involved, carefully supervising your childs activities.Be sensitive to changes in your childs behavior or attitude, paying close attention to your - click here for more info - intuition indicating that something isnt quite right.Teach your child to listen to his or her intuition or gut feeling and communicate it to you.When - browse around these guys - your child tells you they do not like someone, ask them to tell you why and listen carefully.Teach your child that its okay to tell, no matter who, no matter what!Talk about safety and sex with your child, using proper names for genitals.Supervise and establish clear rules and guidelines for your childs computer use.Educate yourself (read, listen and ask)Be Sure to Report the Abuse to the AuthoritiesIf you suspect abuse has occurred, call your local police department or the child abuse hotline for help.Further Reading:The Profile of a PedophileReferences:www.darkness2light.orgHammerschlag, 1996Finkelhor, 1994American Humane Association Children's Division