Child abuse, whether sexually or in any other physical way is now very rampant.
The newspapers are replete with cases of child abuse, especially sexual abuse from day to day. Many of these crimes are committed by neighbours, relatives or even one (out of the two) parents of the victims. The nature of the abuse makes it difficult most of the time for the victims to promptly make a report.
Experts submit that a child who is being abused may feel guilty, ashamed or confused and so may be afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, especially if the abuser is a parent, other relative or family friend. That is why parents sould look out for signs to know if their children are being abused or not.
Below are 19 signs to look for according to experts:
1. Withdrawal from friends or usual activities
2. Changes in behavior — such as aggression, anger, hostility or hyperactivity — or changes in school performance
3. Depression, anxiety or unusual fears or a sudden loss of self-confidence
4. An apparent lack of supervision
5. Frequent absences from school or reluctance to ride the school bus
6. Reluctance to leave school activities, as if he or she doesn’t want to go home
7. Attempts at running away
8. Rebellious or defiant behavior
9. Attempts at suicide
10. Sudden change in style of walking
11. Discharge from genitals
13. High temperature
14. Frequent peeing
15. Being unusually secretive
16. Going back to old behaviours
17. Change in language
18. Unusual behaviour in the presence of persons of the opposite sex
19. Sudden change in size of genitals
It should be noted that one sign may not be sufficient to conclude, but the presence of one or more of these signs means parents should begin to ask questions and consider seeking help. Also, to avoid being victim, experts have advised parents to educate their children on issues relating to sexual abuse. They should also make the children relaxed enough to always talk to them.