17
Dec
08

Be vigilant…Be aware!

stopsexualabuse

Parents, you need to be aware of the signs of child sexual abuse. Back when my abuse was going on, there weren’t web sites to help my mother understand what was happening to me. I was told not to tell, actually threatened and scared into not telling, I was taught to clean any blood from my underwear, things like that *SIGH*. “Dad” was very thorough, he was making sure there was no way my mother could find things to show my abuse. Now some of my bruises, cuts, etc. maybe Mama should have questioned more, but “Dad” took advantage of my clumsiness and autism to say that I “fell” or whatever. ūüė¶¬† But parents today NEED to pay attention to their children, look for the signs! DO NOT hesitate for ONE moment if your child is silently crying out for help, please.

Sexual abuse is any kind of sexual contact between a child and an adult or much older child/teenager.¬† The abuse usually comes after the child is “groomed”/enticed.

What is grooming? Grooming is when an adult¬† “befriends” the victim. Make them feel like they are loved and cared for when the whole world might be against them. The adult gets the child to trust them before taking it to the next level.

  1. Giving the child money or gifts
  2. Allowing the child to get away with things the parent wouldn’t
  3. Hugging, kissing or other contact with the child, even if the child may not want the contact.
  4. Showing pornography to the child
  5. Talking about sexual topics with the child
  6. “Accidentally” walking in on the child while the child is dressing, in the bathroom, etc.
  7. Telling the child that he/she is the only one who really loves them, cares, etc.
  8. Grooming over the internet can include pretending he/she understands the child’s problems, he/she may pose as a child themselves.

Signs of sexual abuse in children:

  1.  Bed wetting
  2.  Excess masturbation
  3.  Complaints of pain during urination or bowel movements
  4.  Exhibiting signs of urinary tract infections, or other signs of sexually transmitted diseases
  5.  Showing aggressive behavior towards friends, family, teacher, etc.
  6. Signs of trauma to the genital area/anus, mouth irritation
  7. Loss of appetite
  8. Unusual gagging
  9. Fear of certain locations, sounds, smells, etc.
  10. Engaging in sexual behavior with friends, stuffed animals or (God forbid) pets
  11. Unexplained periods of panic (flashbacks)
  12. Regressing to behaviors that are too young for their age group
  13. Unexplained health problems
  14. Showing knowledge of adult sexual behaviors
  15. Withdrawing from friends, family and activities previously enjoyed
  16. Self mutilation–cutting, stabbing with pens, pencils, hair pulling, etc.
  17. Showing sudden fear of being alone with a certain person
  18. Blood or other fluids in the panties/underwear
  19. Excessive crying
  20. Lost of self esteem
  21. Irritability
  22. Nightmares or other sleep disturbances

What constitutes sexual abuse:

  1. Rape
  2. Incest
  3. Voyeurism
  4. Statutory Rape
  5. Indecent Exposure
  6. Molestation
  7. Pornography
  8. Engaging a minor in sexual talk online

The abuser can be ANYONE, teachers, preachers/priests, family, friends, policemen. ANYONE. Abuse happens in all ethnic backgrounds, all socio-economic backgrounds. Never doubt your own intuition or things your child tells you. They may even “hint” and not come right out with it. Listen and pay attention.

Some people say “Why doesn’t the child tell?” Well first off, we can be terribly threatened (Read my blog When I Learned To Never Tell). We have fear also that no one would believe us, we fear causing trouble, we fear being taken away from our parents (if the abuser is not a parent), we fear the abuser may kill or hurt other family members. We might feel too ashamed or embarrassed to tell. Some children can’t find the words TO tell. Pay ATTENTION to your children and their actions!

Understand that we as victims no matter how young we are feel rage, hate, shame, guilt, fear. We feel isolated, alone, we feel sad.

How do you approach your child and talk to him/her?

Do:

  1. BELIEVE your child! Children RARELY lie about abuse. Usually the only reason one will lie about being abused is if they are coerced into lying by another adult. Example–In a divorce/child custody proceeding.
  2. LISTEN to your child! Take them to a quiet place where you can be alone, where no one can possibly over hear the conversation. Give your child your FULL attention.
  3. BE CALM! Crying, yelling, etc., will only scare us into shutting up—withdrawing from you!
  4. REASSURE! Reassure your child that everything is going to be ok. Tell your child that he/she is NOT bad and that it is NOT their fault.
  5. PRAISE your child! Tell your child how good it is that she/he told you what is going on. Let them know they are RIGHT and GOOD.
  6. RESPECT your child’s privacy! DO NOT discuss what has happened in front of other¬†people who do not need to know.
  7. GET HELP! Report the abuse to the proper authorities, get therapy for your child AND for yourself. Get your child to a MEDICAL doctor!

Do NOT:

  1. Scream or yell. Do not show the anger you might be feeling.
  2. Threaten the abuser in front of the child.
  3. BLAME the child. NEVER blame the child. Sexual abuse is never a child’s fault!

Remember, the abuser counts on SILENCE, not only from the child but from YOU, the parent. Abuse does not “go away”, take action for your child. Get help. Do not ignore it.

A few facts about child sexual abuse:

  • 1 in every 3 girls and 1 in every five boys will be victims of some kind of sexual assault before the age of 18. (Scary statistics aren’t they?)
  • Over 40 million (YES MILLION) adults living in the US right now were victims of some kind of sexual abuse as children.
  • In over 80% of the cases, the abuser is someone the child knows. Most often a relative or family friend.
  • 1 in 5 rapes of children are under age 12. A startling 1 in 10 are under age FIVE.
  • Two thirds of sex offenders in prison victimized a child.
  • Over 75% of children will DENY abuse when first asked.
  • Young children that are victims of incest (like myself) may not UNDERSTAND that it is abuse at first.
  • An average of 5 out of 10,000 children in daycare are sexually abused.
  • An average of 9 out of 10,000 children are sexually abused in their homes.
  • Girls are more likely than boys to disclose sexual abuse.
  • Adolescent boys and girls with a history of sexual abuse are at an increase risk for eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

Those are just a FEW facts. Every child that is abused can grow up with different problems–we NEED to stop the abuse. Pay attention to your children, don’t let them end up being like me…please.

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7 Responses to “Be vigilant…Be aware!”


  1. December 17, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    That was a really informative post, V. Those stats are frightening but they are so important. There were a good few I can relate to in there. Sigh. Hope you’re doing ok!

  2. 2 Pam
    December 17, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Hey V. Sorry I haven’t been around! It has been insane around here, plus I had my infusion the other day. I am so sorry about all the pain you have been in, and all the crap with your meds. If I don’t get back here before Christmas, please try to have a good one ūüôā I’ll catch up soon!

  3. 3 D
    December 18, 2008 at 6:22 am

    I guess it also depends on how much a parent WANTS to know their kid. Wouldn’t you think that many, many parents out there are simply not aware of their children as anything other than those small beings that hang around the house? I know that from the second my daughter was born I instinctively KNEW she was NOT me, that she was her own being with her own destiny and her own karma to live out. That being said, I respected her even more because of it and my respect became a fierce love and protection for her. That takes form in how I scrutinize her. I don’t let HER feel uncomfortable with my scrutiny, in fact she is unaware that I am as vigilant and as observant as I am. I keep it discreet because I don’t want to inhibit her personality or her actions, but I do pay attention to her body, her mannerisms, her moods and her mental state AT ALL TIMES. Though abused children are not necessarily chosen to be abused because of their beauty, my daughter happens to be very beautiful, and thus she is prey for some bastard in a mall somewhere.. although, I believe it’s the ruining of the innocence that the molestors truly get off on and not necessarily the beauty, being that all of youth has a certain beauty to it.
    There is NO WAY that I wouldn’t notice the effects of something as drastic as sexual or physical or even mental abuse on my daughter. And I’m all about going to the police and making it happen.
    Like we spoke about last night: child abuse awareness has not been around so long. Only a few years ago it was accepted as ‘fine’ to both let your child wander through a mall AND to turn theother cheek if you noticed something wrong, holding that hubristic attitude of: it couldn’t be happening to MY child.
    Well… it could.

    And had I been around during the times when YOU were a child being abused, you can best believe I would have stopped it, in spite of your efforts to cover your shame. I would have told you: it’s in my hands now, baby… you have nothing to worry about ever again for the rest of your life.

    I love you..

  4. 4 redhotdot
    December 25, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    I just read this blog and it touched my heart in many different ways. I need advice and I need it from someone I truly trust…you…I am going to share something that is personel but it should be public if that has any justification at all. One of my best freinds husbands is a registered sex offender. He was convicted on one count but there is more than one victim. This young women has reached out to me and I want to help her and I don’t know how. Am I to give up my 20 year friendship for the sake of this young women? She is deeply hurt and I don’t know that her life is not on a total downward spiral as I type this note. I need advice, I need to know how to talk to her. I need to know what I need to do for her. I need to know what I do with this friendship. I need to know why I feel crazy inside about this and have no idea what is going to with my emotions. I know it’s alot but I have no where to turn for answers and I opened this blog today and I saw not words but hope. Please email me (I edited your email out so you don’t get spammed ~ V). I need to know I am not causing more damage to an already terrible and awful situation. You and D are two people I truly trust deep within my soul. I love you both much!

  5. 5 V
    December 26, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Dot, I am writing you an email now honey!! I will help you!


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