Sexual Abuse in Children-2: How To help Children Who Have Been Sexual Abuse.

Commonly, child sexual abuse is any form of sexual contact between adults to anyone under the age of 18. sexual abuse of children can occur if one of the perpetrators is older or more dominant. This second criterion does not see how old the perpetrators are.

The perpetrators of sexual harassment in children not only come from outside parties. However, many of the families themselves were the culprit. The act of sexual harassment in children can be a kiss, touching the child's genitals, having sex, showing genitals, or giving pornography to children.

Sexual abuse of children occurs because children are persuaded, coerced, or threatened. Many children do not realize or understand the actions taken or asked for themselves. Furthermore, sexual harassment is not only in the form of physical contact. Child sexual abuse can also occur on the internet, whether in the form of improper videos or photos.

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How to help children who have been sexual abuse.

It's quite hard to identify if a child is sexually abused. Most of them are afraid to express it because they think it causes by their mistakes. Children are also often fear by the culprit that their stories will not be trusted, so they feel intimidated and afraid to tell stories.

The perpetrator of sexual harassment may provide various threats that make the child conceal the incident that happened to him. Although it is difficult to detect whether a child is experiencing this heartbreaking incident, some of the following can be used as a benchmark to determine whether there is sexual abuse in children:

  1. Changes in behavior in children. Children who are sexually abused will usually withdraw, become more aggressive, be more spoiled, often wet themselves, and have difficulty sleeping. Children who are victims of sexual abuse may also be afraid to go home.
  2. Having physical problems. This improper event can also cause health problems in children. If the child feels pain in their genitals or rectum or the injuries that look unnatural, then the parent must be alert. It could be that this indicates that the child has sexually transmitted diseases or injuries due to sexual violence. Children can also find it difficult to walk or sit. For girls who are menstruating, sexual abuse also risks causing unwanted pregnancies.
  3. Tend to be alone. Children then become afraid to socialize with other people and prefer to be alone. Children may also be afraid or feel uncomfortable to be left alone with other people, particularly with sexual harassers.
  4. Having trouble learning at school. Sexual abuse of children can also interfere with their education. Children who usually experience sexual abuse have difficulty learning and concentrating.
  5. Severe stress. Children who are sufferers of sexual abuse encounter severe stress. Children become unwilling to take care of themselves and decrease physical conditions which are more due to psychological effects.
What is necessary to know parents in detecting the possibility of sexual abuse of children is to read the signs shown by the child. They may find it hard to speak directly about the tragedy that befell them, but they can provide clues indirectly related to this. When parents know that a child has been a victim of sexual abuse, parents must be able to control themselves so that the child does not get worse.


Understand the fear of children who are sexually abused.

Children who have experienced any form of sexual abused will have plenty of fears that make it hard for them to share their experiences, such as:
  1. Afraid that the perpetrator might hurt him or his family
  2. Fear of people will not believe and instead turn to blame him
  3. Worried that parents will be angry or disappointed with them
  4. Fear that by disclosing the incident, he will disturb the family, especially if the perpetrator is a close relative or family member of his own
  5. Fear that if you tell him he will be separated from the family.

The child's ability to express events of abuse or violence, based on age.

Babies (0-18 months)

At this age, children cannot reveal physical or sexual violence against them. Cases can only be proven if there are eyewitnesses, the perpetrators confess themselves, or there are sexually transmitted diseases, sperm, or semen during the examination.

Toddlers (18-36 months)

Children at this age are the most common group to be abused. Generally, because their communication is still limited, and they will not be able to report violence and abuse that happened to him. They may imitate sexual acts with their own bodies, with other children, or with puppets. They cannot accurately sort the time and place of the incident.

Toddler (3-5 years)

This age is also a typical age for incidents of physical and sexual abuse. Their ability to give a statement is very inadequate.  They tend to have concrete thoughts with an egocentric world so that during interviews, they cannot conceptualize their thoughts and will also be easily confused and tend to say "do not know".

Elementary School Age (6-9 years old)

At this age, they have been able to hide facts from parents in a more convincing way and are also able to keep secrets of sexual violence experienced by him. They already have more information than what they have experienced is something bad.

This age group has been able to fully tell events, such as the place and time of the incident. However, fear of the offender, confusion, shame, fear of being scolded, and fear of going to prison are factors that make them lie.

Puberty (9-13 years)

Pre-teens are usually more comfortable with interviewers of the same sex. Not only do they feel uncomfortable with sexual abuse, but they also tend to be awkward and aware of what their body has experienced.

The hormones that develop in themselves will make them frustrated and cry sobbing for no apparent reason. The worst possibility is when they begin to challenge their acceptance in the social environment by doing rebellious things such as stealing, abusing drugs, and leading to free sex.

Adolescents (13 years and above)

They will have a problem in accepting the fact that they need help, whether through counseling, law, medical, etc.  They tend not to depend on parents emotionally so interviews will be more difficult. The worst possible thing, they will do due to sexual violence is aggressive behavior, failure in school, promiscuity, using drugs, and suicide.

How to respond to Sexual abuse in Children.

If you are worried about a case that befalls your child, talk to the child. However, keep in mind to avoid intimidating conversations, so that children will be more open to you.
  1. Choose the right time and place. Choose a comfortable room and avoid talking in front of someone who will disturb the child's comfort.
  2. Invite children to talk. When you see a child in a depressed condition, invite the child to talk. Usually, children will tell stories to see parents' reactions to the incidents they have experienced. When the child has started telling stories, try to stay calm and listen carefully. Don't blame or interrupt the child's words, because this can prevent the child from telling more.
  3. Keep your tone relaxed. If you start a conversation in a serious tone, this can scare the child. They will tend to answer with the answers they think you want, and not the actual answers. So, try to make the conversation more relaxed. Tones that are not too serious will help you to get accurate information from your child.
  4. Talk directly with children. Use the vocabulary that suits your child, but look for words that have a lot of meanings like, "Did someone touch you?". The word "touching" can have another meaning, but this word is familiar to your child so the child will respond with a statement or comment that can help you investigate this case like. It is suitable for children who have not understood sexual harassment properly, so using the word "hurt" will not lead your child to give you the information you expect.
  5. Listen and follow up on the child's answers. When your child feels comfortable talking to you, let the child talk, then pause. After that, you can follow up on the points that make you feel worried.
  6. Avoid judging and blaming the child. Make sure your child knows that he or she will not be punished or scolded. Let your child only know that you are asking questions because of your concerns.
  7. Be patient. Remember that conversations like this may be very frightening for children because many actors threaten their victims about what happens if the victim notifies sexual violence that has been done by him. Actors may threaten the safety of the victim or threaten people who are loved by physical violence.
  8. Give it time. Not all children can share this severe incident in a short time. If the child is not ready to tell a story, give the child time, and wait until the child is ready to tell a story.
  9. Give support. You can provide support by trusting all the words of the child and assuring them that what happened is not their fault. Explain that sharing the incident with you is the right thing to do.
  10. Seek help. If you suspect your child is a victim of sexual abuse, you can ask for help from a doctor or counselor to further explore the child's condition. If the child is strongly indicated to be sexually abused, you need to report the incident to related parties, such as the police or child protection agencies, to get legal treatment.

What should be done if the child admits to being sexually abused?

  1. Keep calm. Children will see your behavior as a sign that they will be fine. Sexual harassment can change a child's view of the world. However, regardless of how broken your heart is, you must convince your child that he will be fine.
  2. Believe what the child says. There must trust all of your child's words. The trust you give will make him know that you love him and will help him anytime.
  3. Don't let children blame themselves. Many parents still often blame children for hiding the situation or not telling it sooner. Children already have their own psychological burden with the kinds of fears. Make the child believe that the child cannot blame because no one knows that the situation will happen.
  4. Be careful to express anger. anger and shaken up is common when you find out that your child has encountered sexual brutality. However, your anger can cause children to blame themselves for making you angry. Find a place to vent your emotions.
  5. Ask for expert help. Many people handle this problem themselves. However, it can become a new problem that can later isolate your child in need of support. Ask psychologists for sexual violence for children for help to begin the journey to recovery.

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