Child sexual abuse is a major public health problem. In the United States, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys have been sexually abused at some point in their childhood. Most sexual abuse is perpetrated by a child or someone close to his family. Long-term emotional and physical harm after sexual abuse can be devastating for children. Children who are sexually abused and have other childhood experiences (ACEs), such as physical violence or neglect, are more likely to develop depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug addiction and suicidal behavior later in life. They are also more likely to develop a physical condition such as heart disease later in life. Therefore, it is important to identify it as early as possible, seek help for these children, and focus on its prevention in the future.
Child sexual abuse often occurs in the family by parents, stepfathers, siblings or other relatives; or away from home, as friends, neighbors, nannies, teachers or strangers. When sexual abuse occurs, a child develops many painful feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Children may be threatened by the perpetrator and afraid to tell someone else, especially if the perpetrator is someone they know well.
No child wants to face the repeated pain and fear of sexual abuse. Even a two- or three-year-old who cannot understand sexuality will suffer both physically and emotionally.
Even a small child who knows and cares about the abuser is caught between the person’s affection or loyalty and the fear, pain, and betrayal that accompanies sexual abuse. If a child tries to break away from intercourse, the abuser may threaten the child with violence or loss of love. When sexual abuse occurs in the family, the child may fear the anger, jealousy, or shame of other family members, or he may fear that the family will break up if the secret is revealed.
The longer sexual abuse lasts, the more negatively it affects the emotional and physical development of the child. Children who have been sexually abused for a long time often develop low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, and abnormal sexual attitudes. Children can become withdrawn and distrustful of adults, depressed, intentional self-harm and / or suicide.
Some children who have been sexually abused display sexual behavior that is inappropriate for their age and may try to pressure their siblings or peers into sexual behavior. Some children who are sexually abused become abusers as adults, and others may turn to teenage prostitution.
There are often no obvious external signs of sexual abuse of children. Some signs can only be detected on a physical exam by a doctor.
A child who has been sexually abused may develop the following:
Unusual sexual interest or avoidance
Sleep problems or nightmares
Depression or withdrawal from friends or family
Declaring that their bodies are bad or damaged, or Fear of something wrong with them in gender area
Refusing to go to school
Poor concentration and concentration in school
Duty of confidentiality
Sexual harassment in comics, games, fantasy
Unusual or aggressive, self-harm and/or suicidal behavior
Child sexual abusers often threaten to harm a child if they tell anyone about it. This makes it difficult for an abused child to speak freely. If a child tells a teacher, peer, parent, or guardian that they have been abused, these people should try to remain calm and reassure the child that what happened was not their fault. Parents should consult a doctor and consult a psychiatrist.
Parents can prevent or reduce the possibility of sexual abuse:
By teaching children that if someone tries to touch your body and does things that make you feel funny, say NO and tell me the same
Learn children respecting the fa does not mean blind obedience to adults and authority. For example, don’t tell children ‘always do what the teacher or babysitter asks you to do’. A child and adolescent psychiatrist can help an abused child begin the process of regaining self-esteem, dealing with guilt about the abuse, and coping with trauma. Cognitive behavioral therapies can help children and parents deal with the consequences of sexual abuse. This therapy can help reduce the immediate emotional impact of abuse on children and families and reduce the severity of future problems.