Prevention of sexual abuse in childhood

Prevention of sexual abuse in childhood

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Preventing child sexual abuse is a difficult task for parents, caregivers, and society in general, as we will never understand how someone in their right mind can take advantage of and abuse a minor. The hairs stand on end when this abuse is not only emotional or physical, but also has a more sexual tone. Total incomprehensible!

In these situations more than ever, parents ignore the way in which they have to deal with the care of their children and their needs, which will make the child a learner through trial and error.

Whenever we think of sexual abuse, the image of a child being raped or forced to have sexual relations comes to mind, but it is not the only one:

- Child sexual abuse is also forcing him, for example, to touch the genitals of another person or to do it himself with the aim of making the other aroused.

- Child sexual abuse is making you pose nude for a pornographic photo or video.

- Child sexual abuse is showing sexual material to a minor.

- Child sexual abuse is telling a child to undress without their consent.

- Child sexual abuse is showing yourself without clothes in front of him.

- Child sexual abuse is telling pornographic stories or jokes.

Before considering more direct preventive measures, parents must first promote good treatment of children. That is, recognizing the child as a person and their rights, respecting the child's evolutionary development, establishing empathy and effective communication with him, creating an emotional and interactive bond, and solving his problems in a positive and non-violent way.

- Tell the children that "if someone tries to touch your body and do things that make you feel strange, tell the person NO and tell them right away.

- Teach children that respect for elders does not mean that they have to blindly obey adults and authority figures. For example, don't tell them "you always have to do whatever the teacher or your caregiver tells you to do."

- Supports the professional programs of the local school system for prevention.

- Speak clearly with your child without taboos or prejudices on the issues of sexuality.

- Educate your child about sexuality from preschool age, in formal and non-formal education.

- Explain the difference between an expression of affection and a sexual caress.

- Listen to their doubts and answer their questions with simplicity and serenity.

- Show him confidence so that there is better and greater communication.

- Trust the child if he tells you that he is at risk of being sexually abused.

- Show your love and affection even more.

No parent wants to go through this trance and, perhaps for this reason, it is difficult to realize that a child is suffering sexual abuse. Analyzing their behavior and conduct is important if we suspect something.

- He feels sad
Withdrawn, fearful, depressed or with low self-esteem, this is the profile of a child who is being subjected to sexual abuse.

- He is restless
He is constantly active, nervous and, what is worse, aggressive with himself (he can even injure himself), with his family and with his colleagues.

- Sleeping problems
Many times the child is not aware of what is happening to him and does not know if it is good or bad and this keeps him restless, affecting his quality of sleep and frequent awakenings and nightmares.

- Bad behavior in class
Changes in school performance, little discipline at school or lack of interest in the activities that have filled him up until now are other symptoms that can help a parent to detect a possible case of sexual abuse.

- He is distant
The child who is sexually harassed doesn't trust anyone; For him, everyone is bad and this can cause him to break the relationship with the person who takes care of him, be it his father, mother or grandfather.

After checking some of these symptoms and having ruled out some other conditions that also imply a change in the child's behavior, such as a separation, the loss of a loved one, a change of school, it's time to act! Your son comes first.

If you think you can meet the person who abuses him, leave him as soon as possible! Later, he goes to the police to report what happened; to your pediatrician, for advice on steps to follow with the child and refer you to a psychologist; to the hospital, where they will carry out a comprehensive study; and, above all, break your silence and give your child a voice. Don't let them ruin your life!

Sources consulted:
- Savethechildren

You can read more articles similar to Prevention of sexual abuse in childhood, in the category of on-site abuse.

Video: From Research to Practice: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Part 1: Introductions (February 2023).