What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Is Being Sexually Harmed
We do whatever it takes to protect our children – especially from the nightmare of sexual abuse and assault. If you are concerned or suspect that your child is a victim of sexual abuse, it is only natural to want to take every step to help him or her. However, as eager as you may be to help your child, you may also not be sure what to do or how to respond.
Child sexual abuse and assault is a type of crime that often goes undetected. Regardless of what your role may be – mother, father, grandparent, coach, teacher, religious leader or caretaker – you have the power to make a positive difference in your child’s life.
Below are some tips to consider if you suspect that your child is being sexually harmed.
1. Recognize the Signs of Sexual Abuse
The signs of sexual abuse are not always obvious. As such, it is important for you to learn the warning signs of child sexual abuse in order to save your loved one’s life. Some common warning signs of sexual abuse in young children include:
- Behavioral signs: These signs include shying away from or seeming threatened by physical contact, regressive behavior like wetting the bed, changing hygiene routines such as refusing to take showers, engaging age-inappropriate sexual behaviors, nightmares.
- Verbal signs: These signs include using words that are obviously “too adult” for the child’s age, suddenly becoming less verbal or becoming alarming silence.
- Physical signs: These signs include bruising and swelling around the genital area, blood on undergarments or scars.
2. Communicated With Your Child
If you suspect that your child is being sexually harmed, it is very important to keep lines of communication open with your child. When talking to your child, you should consider:
- Choosing a time and place that your child feels comfortable
- Using a tone that makes your child feel comfortable enough to open up to you
- Using vocabulary that your child clearly understands and comprehends
- Listening and following up on your conversation
- Never blaming or becoming judgmental of your child
- Being patient
3. Report The Sexual Abuse
Once your child opens up and admits that he or she has been sexually harmed, you need to report it. This is not an easy task, and can be emotionally draining. Nevertheless, as your child’s guardian, you need to take this important and mandatory step in order to get your child the help he or she needs and prevent the abuse from happening to another innocent child.
If you suspect that your child or a loved one has been abused or molested, it is important to immediately contact an attorney to protect the legal rights of your loved one.
At the Law Offices of Michael S. Carrillo, our sexual abuse lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our experienced legal team will provide you with a comfortable atmosphere that will promote an honest exchange of information. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, please call us at 626-799-9379.