By knowing the signs to look out for we help our children because often is the case that they are scared to reach out or they may not understand that what is going on is wrong.
You may become aware that your child is:
Frightened of a certain individual or someone they do not want to be left alone with.
You might notice they are using language or some sort of sexual behaviour that you would not expect them to know.
You notice they are self-harming
Eating habits have changed
They are having nightmares or wetting the bed
Their moods may seem irritable, angry or different from normal
Physically you may notice:
Bleeding, Discharge or pain in their genital area
Sexually transmitted disease
Children can be sexually abused online, here is what to look out for:
Spending less time than normal online, texting, gaming or using social media
Your child might seem distant, angry or unusually out of sorts after spending time online
You're finding they are being secretive regarding their online activity or who they are talking to
You notice new contacts in their phone and emails
Sometimes our children can’t say what's going on with them but they do give hints and so it is important as parents and caregivers that we listen to our children and engage with them when they talk to us.
And to hear what isn't being said.
Obviously, there could be other reasons why these signs could be there but we do need to be vigilant. As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I know how things can go unnoticed and I do not want anyone to go through such trauma or to ever experience anything like what I did.
Communication and awareness is the best tool we have to protect our children.
Just something to think about and be aware of.