There was a child molestation case few weeks ago and I shed tears of pain and anguish. There are rape cases of minors daily which naturally grieve the heart, but this was especially painful as it involved a child of six months.
As expected, the child was badly wounded and needed to be hospitalized, connected to life-machines and all-what-not to save her life.
Again, there was yet another e also recently of a 31-year-old guy who raped a nine-year-old minor. Although the perpetrator was caught and placed behind bars, the fact remains that that child and every other child around the world who gets raped, becomes traumatized and scarred, possibly for life; their innocence snatched.
There is a sharp rise in rape cases and it is estimated that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will experience sexual abuse before they turn 18 .The figures on child sexual molestation are alarming and sadly, continue to get worse.
Here are Some Key Facts about Child Sexual Abuse Every Parent Should Know
- Child sexual abuse is more serious than you know and approximately 5 children die because of this daily.
- Most children who have been abused do not tell anyone out of fear or guilt.
- Children living with single parents are more at risk of being sexually abused.
- Disabled children are also more at risk of being sexually abused.
Sexual Abuse Signs to Look Out for
If you suspect a child is being sexually abused, here are some signs you should look out for:
- traumatic stress disorder
- self destructive acts
- suicidal tendencies
- social withdrawal
- fear of being alone
- learning difficulties
- sleep problems
- alcohol and substance abuse
- sexualized behaviours
- hyper sexuality
- eating disorder
- chronic pain, neurosis
- animal cruelty.
Children who were responded to judgmentally or disbelieved, even a little when they voiced out their attack usually withdraw and find it harder to open up again.
Sexual abuse against children continues to raise mainly because children are vulnerable and seen as easy preys. Most children are abused by people they know and trust.
So How Can You Protect Your Kids/Wards from Sexual Predators?
With the continuous rise in such rape cases, it behoves parents and guardians to try and protect their wards as best they can and here are some ways to achieve that:
- Build a Strong Relationship with Them
Spend as much time as you possibly can with your kids. Kids find it easier to open up to adults about ‘secrets’ in their lives when they feel close to or free with you. You have to find a way to strike a balance between being their friend and still being their parent/disciplinarian.
2. Get Educated about Sexual Abuse
Know as much as possible about sexual abuse and sexual predators. You should also know if there are abusers in your locality and what is being done about them.
3. Educate Your Kids about Sexual Abuse
Let your kids know about sexual abuse and about sexual predators. You don’t have to go into so much details, you need only teach them as much as their minds can grasp as kids to keep them safe.
4. Teach Them about Their Body Parts
Let them know the proper names of each reproductive organs. Teach them to know it’s not okay for anyone to touch their vagina or penis or touch them in any way that makes them uncomfortable and to tell you if this happens.
5. Stay Alert for Signs of Possible Sexual Abuse
You should know that there are instances where your child might keep incidences of sexual abuse to themselves, especially if they feel ashamed or have been threatened by the perpetrator. You should, therefore, always be on the lookout for more signs if your child shows one or more of these signs.