Children and Sexual Abuse
Cairene E. Greenlee
Abuse: Causes, Effects, & Interventions
Children and Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse, or child molestation happens when an adult, or older adolescent child uses a younger child for sexual stimulation or sexual gratification. Child sexual abuse may be touching, indecent exposure, or engaging in sexual activities. This may be physical or non-physical in nature. This paper will discuss identifying symptoms, or signals of child sexual abuse, long and short-term effects, risks, statistical data, as well as outcomes and treatments. Identifying symptoms/signals of child sexual abuse
When a child has been sexually abused, he or she may begin to form many different types of problems. Some of these problems may be physical or mental in nature. With these problems children will begin to show signs of said abuse. Each child will show different signs throughout different stages depending on the type of abuse that they have endured such as being looked at in the nude, inappropriate touching, and physical penetration. Younger children will normally show you signs rather than tell you what is happening to them, and each child will be unique from the next child in his or her signs, however many people may not be aware of what signs of sexual abuse are. The initial signs of abuse may not indicate that sexual abuse is happening, however may be an indicator to parents, teachers, and others that something is not right with this child in question. Some of the initial signs that suggest that abuse is happening may be nightmares with no apparent reason, changes in the eating habits, refusing to eat at all, or being withdrawn from others. Signs may also escalate to be to showing that there may in fact be sexual abuse happening. The sexually abused child may suddenly become afraid of certain places or people, may talk about new secrets with certain adults or adolescents, and may talk of having a new older friend. The child may have money, toys, and other gifts that he or she cannot explain, or say that they came from a new friend. Some children may even refuse to remove their clothing during appropriate times, such as to take a bath. Children may regress to a younger child’s behavior by once again sucking their thumbs, or wetting the bed again when they haven’t done so in years. A child who has been sexual abused may begin to act out inappropriate sexual actions with toys or other objects, such as touching themselves with objects, or using dolls, stuffed animals, or other toys to imitate sexual acts, and others may draw pictures of what has been going on with them. While another child that has been sexually abused he or she may develop new names for their body parts, or start thinking that that their body, and body parts are dirty, or that they are bad. There are some children that will even harm themselves, or disfigure their bodies when they have been sexually abused. Many of these children will become anxious, nervous, some may have mood swings that could include anger, aggressiveness towards parents, siblings, friends, and even their pets. They physical signs of child sexual abuse may be rare, especially to someone who is not trained but do exist. Pain, discoloration, bleeding, and abnormal discharge in the genitals, anus, and mouth are a few of the physical signs that may be seen. Some children may have frequent pain during urination and bowel movements as well as, wetting and soiling accidents that they have otherwise outgrown. Other physical signs that may be seen, but are more likely to be noticed by a trained professional may be cuts and tears in or around the vaginal or anal openings, or vaginal infections. There are the rare occasions that the signs of sexual abuse are sexually transmitted diseases and even pregnancy. (Center, n.d.)
Long and Short-term Effects
For the victim child sexual abuse can be devastating, not only in the near future because the...
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Center, C. S. (n.d.). http://www.stopitnow.org/warning_signs_child_behavior. Retrieved from www.stopitnow.org: http://www.stopitnow.org/warning_signs_child_behavior
crime.org, V. o. (n.d.). http://www.victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/child-sexual-abuse-statistics.
Finkelhor, E. M. (n.d.). Childhood Sexual Abuse Fact Sheet.
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