What can be done if you suspect a child is being victimized by childhood sexual abuse?

What can be done if you suspect a child is being victimized by childhood sexual abuse?

First, recognize the signs of childhood sexual abuse (not all inclusive)

Physical signs:

  • Bleeding, bruises, or swelling in genital area
  • Bloody, torn, or stained underclothes
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Frequent urinary or yeast infections
  • Pain, itching, or burning in genital area

Behavioral signs:

  • Changes in hygiene, such as refusing to bathe or bathing excessively
  • Develops phobias
  • Exhibits signs of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Expresses suicidal thoughts, especially in adolescents
  • Has trouble in school, such as absences or drops in grades
  • Inappropriate sexual knowledge or behaviors
  • Nightmares or bed-wetting
  • Overly protective and concerned for siblings, or assumes a caretaker role
  • Returns to regressive behaviors, such as thumb sucking
  • Runs away from home or school
  • Self-harms
  • Shrinks away or seems threatened by physical contact

www.rainn.org

With kindness and sensitivity, talk to the child.

With kindness and sensitivity, talk to the child.

  • Allow the child to select a safe place to talk
  • Ask questions/inquire - Has anyone has touched you and/or caused you to feel uncomfortable in any way?
  • Listen and reassure the child of any fears
  • Ensure the safety of the child

Call the Childhelp National Abuse Hotline at 800.422.4453 to ask about the reporting process and what to expect

Suspected or known child sexual abuse is reported to Child Protective Services (RAINN's –Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) State Law Database )

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Germayne B. Tizzano, Ph.D.
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Views From A Treehouse Inc.

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