Well, no parent in the world wants his child to face sexual abuse, but we ignore the fact that in today’s cruel world, no one is safe. You never know what comes into someone’s psyche. You can’t just stop someone else from thinking wrong, but what you can do at your best is to be aware of your children, talk to them and notice if there is something wrong in their behavior. There is nothing wrong with talking to your child regarding sex. The best thing you can do to save him from the world is to make him aware of what is wrong and what is right and what they should do if they fall into such a situation.
Very often, kids do not know what has happened to them and are threatened by the abuser. They never tell anyone about the abuse. So you must talk to your kids and develop a friendly relationship with them so that they can share everything with you.
Nowadays, many schools in India have realized the importance of sexual education, and that’s why they have introduced it in their daily curriculum.
TYPES OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
There are two types of sexual abuse
- Contact abuse
Contact abuse is when someone touches a child in the wrong way and at the wrong places. Like the chest, buttocks, genital organs.
Contact abuse involves sexual touching of a child’s body or making him touch someone else genital organs, penetration in the mouth, anus, or vagina of sexual organs, fingers, or any other objects.
- Non-contact abuse
Many times the culprit abuses the child by not touching but making some abusive remarks or other things. Touch doesn’t need to be involved in sexual abuse. Forcing a child to watch live sexual acts or make them see photos of such kind. Making sexually suggestive remarks either verbally or through online media. Exploiting the children by capturing uncomfortable images of children and disturbing them or threatening them.
BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD RAISE CONCERN
It might be possible that they are not going to tell you anything about the sexual abuse, but you can get alert if you see some behaviors which they do not do in general
- Avoiding certain people
- Becoming anxious or fearful
- Suddenly performing poor in academics
- Self-harming and suicidal thoughts
- Returning to previous childish habits for e.g., thumb sucking
- Recurrent nightmares or bed-wetting
- Runs away from home or school
- Inappropriate sexual knowledge or behaviors
- Not talking to anyone
- When you see them cry
- Spending most of the time alone in their room
- Not going out with friends
Apart from behavior, there are some physical symptoms of child abuse. These are
- Difficulty in walking or sitting
- Bloody, torn or stained underclothes
- Pain, injury or discharge in the genital area
- Frequent urinary or yeast infections
- Bruises in body
- Signs of pregnancy in the teenager
WARN YOUR CHILD
It is indeed challenging to change the mentality of people, but you can always warn your child to stay away from certain types of people who you think are inappropriate. And you can also make sure that they are not around these kinds of people. Some of the behavior of people whom kids should stay away from are
- People who find ways to be alone with the child i.e., suggesting outings alone, offering to look after or babysit alone.
- Ignore the child’s need for privacy e.g., bathroom.
- Give gifts or money for no particular reason.
- Communicate excessively with the child- text messages, calling, etc.
- Try to get close to them.
Never ignore a child who has any of the above symptoms or who reports sexual abuse. Try to talk to them and listen carefully to what he is saying and seek medical help if a child is portraying behavior that raises concern to take him aside and ask him what is wrong with him, what is bothering him. Do not shout at him, and he has already gone through a lot of things. And remember that it’s not his fault. Stay calm and support them this way; they will share everything with you.
If you get to know anything suspicious or display behavior of sexual abuse, take him to the hospital and report the incident to the police. You must make a step so that no other child has to face the same sexual abuse. Plus, it will boost confidence in your child that you are always there for him, and he’ll be able to deal with such situations in the future. And this incident might have a grave impact on him inside out, and you have to talk to him and help him to forget what happened and move ahead in life.
And always remember that both boys and girls can become a victim of child sexual abuse.