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The article below will give both parents and children a brief look at child sex abuse. It is not a complete list of signs and symptoms of sex abuse, only those that are most often shown by a child. If you see any of these signs or symptoms in your child then you must get professional help for your family. These guides and references are meant to inform not correct the situation.
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
Once you have read and understood this page you may want to visit our page on Dissociative Identity Disorder (MPD) . If your child has been sexually abused then you will want to read this page. You will also want to visit our page on Children and Depression. Both of these pages along with this page could help you understand your child. If this information does not pertain to your family, maybe you know of others you can pass the information onto.
No. 9 (Updated July 2004)
Child sexual abuse has been reported up to 80,000 times a year, but the number of unreported instances is far greater, because the children are afraid to tell anyone what has happened, and the legal procedure for validating an episode is difficult. The problem should be identified, the abuse stopped, and the child should receive professional help. The long-term emotional and psychological damage of sexual abuse can be devastating to the child.
Sexually abused children may develop the following:
Child sexual abuse can take place within the family, by a parent, step-parent, sibling or other relative ; or outside the home, for example, by a friend, neighbor, child care person, teacher, or stranger. When sexual abuse has occurred, a child can develop a variety of distressing feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
No child is psychologically prepared to cope with repeated sexual stimulation. Even a two or three year old, who cannot know the sexual activity is wrong, will develop problems resulting from the inability to cope with the overstimulation.
The child of five or older who knows and cares for the abuser becomes trapped between affection or loyalty for the person, and the sense that the sexual activities are terribly wrong. If the child tries to break away from the sexual relationship, the abuser may threaten the child with violence or loss of love. When sexual abuse occurs within the family, the child may fear the anger, jealousy or shame of other family members, or be afraid the family will break up if the secret is told.
A child who is the victim of prolonged sexual abuse usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. The child may become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults, and can become suicidal.
Some children who have been sexually abused have difficulty relating to others except on sexual terms. Some sexually abused children become child abusers or prostitutes, or have other serious problems when they reach adulthood.
Often there are no obvious physical signs of child sexual abuse. Some signs can only be detected on physical exam by a physician.
* unusual interest in or avoidance of all things of a sexual nature
* sleep problems or nightmares
* depression or withdrawal from friends or family
* statements that their bodies are dirty or damaged, or fear that there is something wrong with them in the genital area
* refusal to go to school
* delinquency/conduct problems
* aspects of sexual molestation in drawings, games, fantasies
* unusual aggressiveness, or
* suicidal behavior
Child sexual abusers can make the child extremely fearful of telling, and only when a special effort has helped the child to feel safe, can the child talk freely. If a child says that he or she has been molested, parents should try to remain calm and reassure the child that what happened was not their fault. Parents should seek a medical examination and psychiatric consultation.
Parents can prevent or lessen the chance of sexual abuse by:
* Telling children that if someone tries to touch your body and do things that make you feel funny, say NO to that person and tell me right away
* Teaching children that respect does not mean blind obedience to adults and to authority, for example, don't tell children to, Always do everything the teacher or baby-sitter tells you to do
* Encouraging professional prevention programs in the local school system
Sexually abused children and their families need immediate professional evaluation and treatment. Child and adolescent psychiatrists can help abused children regain a sense of self-esteem, cope with feelings of guilt about the abuse, and begin the process of overcoming the trauma. Such treatment can help reduce the risk that the child will develop serious problems as an adult.
Here is a list of other websites on child sex abuse:
Child Sexual AbuseResearch sexual abuse of children at world's largest online library.
http://www.questia.comChild Sexual Abuse // National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress ...Child sexual abuse includes a wide range of sexual behaviors that take place between a child and an older person. These sexual behaviors are intended to ...
http://www.ncptsd.va.gov/facts/specific/fs_child_sexual_abuse.html Child Sex Abuse: Internet Crimes Child sexual abuse, molestation, exploitation, pornography, offenders, predators, Web, lure, chat, boylove, adult-child sex. Presented by Pandora's Box: Dr. ...
http://www.prevent-abuse-now.com/pedoweb.htmCNN. com - Study: Child sex abuse 'epidemic' in US - September 11, 2001A study released Monday revealed that between 300000 and 400000 US children -- many from middle class homes -- are victims of some type of sexual ...
http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/09/10/child.exploitation/ MedlinePlus: Child Sexual Abuse(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) . Research; Childhood Sex Abuse Increases Risk for Drug Dependence in Adult Women (04/01/2002, ...
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/childsexualabuse.htmlDarkness to Light Website, Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
Darkness to Light homepage. Darkness to Light is a non-profit organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child sexual abuse.
http://www.darkness2light.org/Child sexual abuse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia A perpetrator of child sexual abuse is known as a child sex offender. Most child sex offenders are male; the number of female offenders is usually reported ...
http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuseChild Abuse in Children
Child abuse is harm to, or neglect of, a child by another person, whether adult ... talking about or acting out sexual acts beyond normal sex play for age. ...
http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/welcome/commonproblems/child_abuse.htmlChild Abuse: Types, Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Help Learn how to identify the signs and symptoms of child abuse and what to do if you ... Provides help and resources for child abusers and child abuse survivors.
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/child_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htmMedem: Medical Library: Sexual AbuseIf your child does reveal sexual abuse to you, the most important point is to take what your ... Many children who report sexual abuse are not believed. ...
Books on children and sex abuse!
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Follow this link, Child Sex Abuse , for more information on this subject.