If a person harms a child physically, sexually, psychologically or by neglecting him intentionally, it is considered child abuse. Minors are dependent on one or more adults for survival. They are innocent and mostly unaware of any of these types of abuse.
It is a crime to harm them in any way. Also, as parents and guardians, it is our responsibility to help them understand the difference between good and bad. It is necessary to make them aware of the adversities before something bad happens. This article focuses on the sexual abuse of a child.
The meaning of child sexual abuse
Any kind of behavior with a minor that includes even the slightest signs of sexual activity is child sexual abuse. The main reason why it is an ‘abuse’ is that a child is not mature enough to consent to any such activity. These criminal activities cause trauma to the child and it remains like that for a long time and in some cases forever. There are forms of child sexual abuse that do not even require the victim to come into physical contact with the perpetrator at all. The forms of child abuse are:
- Exposing oneself in front of the minor or exhibitionism
- Sex trafficking
- Any kind of sex with a child
- Producing, sharing or owning pornographic videos or images of minors
- Forceful masturbation or masturbating in front of a minor
- Obscene texts, video calls or phone calls to a minor
- Any form of sexual activity that can be harmful to a minor’s mental, physical or emotional well-being.
How do you recognize an act of child abuse?
It is very difficult to understand if your child is going through any kind of sexual child abuse. It is more complicated when the kids do not realize what is happening and so do not bother to tell you. As soon as you realize a criminal activity, you should immediately refer to the Child Victims Act for further actions against the perpetrator. As parents, we should be careful about the following signs and symptoms:
- Bleeding or swelling in the genitals
- Stained or torn undergarments
- Burning or itching in the genitals
- Yeast or urinary infections
- Difficulty in sitting or walking
These are some of the physical signs. There are also some signs of odd behavior in children that can be a matter of concern:
- Hygienic changes. For example, excessive cleaning and bathing
- Becoming phobic
- Post-traumatic stress or depression
- Adolescents may express suicidal thoughts
- Absenteeism from school and low grades
- Abnormal behaviors
- Bed wetting and nightmares
- Becoming more protective of siblings
- Regression in behavior. For example, the child starts thumb-sucking like a baby
- Harming oneself
- Fears or stays away from physical contact
You have to act immediately when you notice even a few of these symptoms. Since you are handling a child who is already in trauma, you have to be very careful. Make sure you are not harsh with the child at all. This can lead to highly dangerous issues. Also, try to talk to a child more if he or she expresses concern to you. Do not put on a disbelieving attitude. This will make it more difficult for the child to discuss problems with you.
Child abuse has now become a common problem that needs to be eradicated to make society more livable for children. It does not matter if your child is not a victim of any kind of abuse. show that you are a good human being and rescue any child in need.