Sexual abuse of children often entails the misuse of power by someone who manipulates, tricks, forces, or coerces a child into sexual conduct. In most cases, the children feel too embarrassed, ashamed, or threatened to report the abuse to a teacher, social worker, nurse, doctor, parent, or police.
Some warning signs in children which may indicate sexual abuse are as follows:
- sudden or prolonged changes in behaviour and loss of appetite;
- frequent nightmares and fear of the dark;
- torn or stained underclothing;
- vaginal or rectal bleeding, itching, pain, or swollen genitals;
- fear of being left alone with a particular person; and
- aggressive behaviour and discussion of sexual activities with other children at school or with younger siblings.
Some preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of sexual abuse of children is to:
- create a relationship with the child where they feel free to talk about any and all problems;
- explain to them that their body belongs to them alone and no one has the right to touch them inappropriately;
- encourage the child to talk about times that they are left with other individuals like – the babysitter, boy next door, kids at school, coach, family member, or family friends, etc.
- encourage them to walk in isolated areas only with another friend or an adult they feel safe with; and
- ask them if anyone has taken photographs of them without any clothes on.
If you suspect that your child has been sexually abused, you should immediately contact the Port Moody Police Department by dialing 911 and a police officer will be dispatched to investigate the matter.
You may wish to visit this website to learn more about sexual abuse of children –
SafeCanada – Sexual Abuse.