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INDICATIONS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, MOLESTATION AND RAPE

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Sexual Abuse has enormous effects on the child which are usually carried over into adult hood. These effects can be resolved and overcome for the survivor. Read these pages for further information.

Peter who has worked with over 180 sexually abused women and men successfully in the last 18 months. Many say that it is very daunting to work with a man in such a sensitive area, but once they have gone through it, they say "WOW I was abused by a man and now I can get healing from a man. I did not know that was possible!!!! I have completely CHANGED MY LIFE AND AM NOW FINALLY ENJOYING A GOOD HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH A MAN. Even though you may be scared, I highly recommend it" Many say that, you owe it to yourself. Just try, you will be amazed. Check out "Client Success Stories"

BE AWARE OF THESE INDICATORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

Parents, grandparents, and guardians should be aware of the signs noted below that could indicate your child has been sexually molested. You should note that some of these behaviours may have other explanations, but it is important to assist your child no matter what the cause of these symptoms or behaviours.
Not all of the following indicators will mean your child has been victimized - some can be part of normal development or signs of stress. The greater the number of signs, and the more sudden, severe and frequent they are, the more reason you have for concern. Physical evidence in genital and rectal areas must be taken seriously and treated immediately.
In Preschool Children:

  • displaying inappropriate sexual activity or showing an unusual interest in sexual matters
  • mood swings, withdrawal, depression
  • bed wetting, nightmares, fear of going to bed
  • pain, itching, bleeding, discharge, or rawness in private areas
  • regressive behaviour: baby talk, sudden clinging behaviour
  • sudden unexplained aggressiveness or rebellion
  • inserts objects into genitals or rectum - acts out sexual behaviour on dolls or stuffed toys
  • sudden fear of specific things, people, places, etc.

Primary School Age Children:

  • may display same signs as preschool children as well as the following:
  • stomach aches, headaches, and other psychosomatic ailments
  • unusual knowledge and interest in sex beyond developmental level
  • sudden drops in grades, difficulty concentrating

In Adolescents:

  • serious depression
  • inability to trust others
  • self-destructive behaviours: alcohol and/or drug use, eating disorders
  • promiscuity and self inflicted injuries
  • pseudo maturity
  • serious confusion regarding sexual identity
  • aversion toward opposite sex
  • sexual interest in younger children

Remember, victims are intimidated by their abusers and are more likely to deny the abuse than disclose it. There is often a threat that goes with the event, that if they told anyone they would do something to the pet or person they love such as a parent. They will be more willing to talk if an atmosphere of trust and open communication has already been established in the home.


Not sure but the child shows some of these symptoms?
Contact a professional who is trained in assessing child sexual abuse if you have any doubts.

  • Changes in behaviour, extreme mood swings, withdrawal, fearfulness, and excessive crying
  • Bed-wetting, nightmares, fear of going to bed, or other sleep disturbances
  • Acting out inappropriate sexual activity or showing an unusual interest in sexual matters
  • A sudden acting out of feelings or aggressive or rebellious behaviour
  • Regression to infantile behaviour; clinging
  • School or behavioural problems
  • Changes in toilet-training habits
  • A fear of certain places, people, or activities
  • Bruises, rashes, cuts, limping, multiple or poorly explained injuries
  • Pain, itching, bleeding, fluid, or rawness in the private areas

If you observe any of these behaviours, talk to your child about the causes. Behavioural changes such as these may be due to causes other than sexual exploitation such as a medical, family, or school problem. Also keep in mind that sometimes children do not always demonstrate obvious signs such as these but may do or say something that hints at the exploitation.

As sexual behaviour raises concern ...

1. The child focuses on sexuality to a greater extent than on other aspects of his or her environment, and/or has more sexual knowledge than similar-age children with similar backgrounds who live in the same area. A child’s sexual interests should be in balance with his or her curiosity about, and exploration of, other aspects of his or her life.
2. The child has an ongoing compulsive interest in sexual, or sexually-related activities, and/or is more interested in engaging in sexual behaviours than in playing with friends, going to school, and doing other developmentally-appropriate activities.
3. The child engages in sexual behaviours with those who are much older or younger. Most school-aged children engage in sexual behaviour with children within a year or so of their age. In general, the wider the age range between children engaging in sexual behaviours, the greater the concern.
4. The child continues to ask unfamiliar children, or children who are uninterested, to engage in sexual activities. Healthy and natural sexual play usually occurs between friends and playmates.
5. The child, or a group of children, bribes or emotionally and/or physically forces another child/children of any age into sexual behaviours.
6. The child exhibits confusion or distorted ideas about the rights of others in regard to sexual acts. The child may contend: "She wanted it" or "I can touch him if I want to."
7. The child tries to manipulate children or adults into touching his or her genitals or causes physical harm to his or her own or other’s genitals.
8. Other children repeatedly complain about the child’s sexual behaviours – especially when the child has already been spoken to by an adult.
9. The child continues to behave in sexual ways in front of adults who say "no", or the child does not seem to comprehend admonitions to curtail overt sexual behaviours in public places.
10. The child appears anxious, tense, angry, or fearful when sexual topics arise in his or her everyday life.
11. The child manifests a number of disturbing toileting behaviours: plays with, smears faeces, urinates outside of the bathroom, uses excessive amounts of toilet paper, stuffs toilet bowls to overflow, sniffs or steals underwear.
12. The child’s drawings depict genitals as the predominant feature.
13. The child manually stimulates or has oral or genital contact with animals.
14. The child has painful and/or continuous erections or vaginal discharge.

Sexual Abuse has enormous effects on the child which are usually carried over into adult hood. These effects can be resolved and overcome for the survivor. Read these pages for further information.

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