Dealing With Child Sexual Abuse
In today’s world where both the mother and the father go to work, the children are at a higher risk of getting sexually abused. Normally little kids come running to their parents when they tall down and scrape their knees or elbows. But they will not talk about sexual abuse. The reason is the abuser will manipulate and threaten the already confused and extremely frightened child.
The abuser usually uses words like ‘Don’t tell your parents or they will not love you.’ Or ‘Do not tell anyone or you and I will go to jail.’ Also. ‘Do not tell your parents; this is our secret.’ And thus the child is silenced. In such cases, we have to keep an eye out for any symptoms of sexual abuse.
- Gradual or sudden change o? behaviour (isolated, being introvert, tearful, agitated).
- Aggressive/disruptive behaviour.
- Cruelty to other people or even pets.
- Torn or stained under-clothing.
- Regression to a more infantile behaviour like bed-wetting, thumb-sucking and excessive crying.
- Vaginal or rectal bleeding, pain, itching, swollen genitals. vaginal discharge or STO (sexually transmitted disease).
- Fear of a certain person and behaving strangely around a certain person.
- Difficulty walking or sitting.
In Pre-Teens And Teenagers
- Extreme and unexplained anger.
- Running away from home.
- Low sell-esteem.
Preventions And Solutions
Firstly we have to protect children more. If both the parents are working, grandparents can be requested to come and live with them. In India, the joint family system has almost disappeared. However, now is the time we need it more than ever as both parents have to work. The grandparents can be there for the little ones and accompany them to their tuitions and sports practices. They can provide the safety, the cushioning and the warmth while the parents are at work.
If this is not possible and the children have to be left in the care of servants for long hours, invisible cameras can be fitted throughout the house and the parents can monitor and check how the servants are behaving with the children. But the parents and grandparents cannot go everywhere to protect the little ones. So, they must be taught to protect themselves. But how can this be done? When the child is around two or three years of age they can be taught by their parents about their body parts.
The child should be told not to be scared to tell you if something wrong happens to them. They should be encouraged to trust you completely
While telling them about this, talk of the hands and feet and shoulders and about their private parts. Use correct terminology. Never use nicknames for their body parts. Children should be taught their bodies have private parts that no one must see or touch. Next step is to teach a child to confide in you. The child should be told not to be scared to tell you if something wrong happens to them. They should be encouraged to trust you completely.
Explain to them that an adult cannot touch their private parts and neither should they. Also tell them that they cannot accept gifts from anyone without telling you, first. Talk to them about certain incidents in the news and tell them how brave a certain child was for telling his/her parents when they were touched inappropriately at school.
As secrecy and abuse go hand in hand, open communication between parents and children ¡s the best prevention technique.
Teach children to say no to an adult if he is doing something that hurts them. Most parents do not believe nor accept when their child discloses sexual abuse. Believe in your child if he/she tells you that someone did something to them no matter how dose, that someone might be. Be supportive and obtain the help of your child. Let the police investigate the child abuse incident. Tell your child it is not their fault and you are proud of them for confiding in you.
Teaching children about being safe from child abuse will prevent the problem from occurring in the first place. Molesters and paedophiles will choose a child who has not been taught about child abuse. They will keep away from a child who has been taught and made aware of sexual abuse.