About 26.6% of US female children below the age of 18 are victims of child sexual abuse. In male kids, 5.1% get exposed to sexually abusive behavior.
Those are already horrifying statistics, but unfortunately, they’re conservative estimates. That’s because only about 38% of victimized children tell others about their experience.
As such, it may be difficult to tell that someone is a victim of sexual abuse. However, some physical and emotional cues can indicate such crimes have occurred.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to get in touch with a sexual abuse attorney right away.
- Reports of “Touching”
Sexually-abused children may tell you that someone hugged and then touched them. They may say this in a nonchalant way.
Please refrain from grilling them with questions. Instead, ask them calmly to tell you more about who that person was or what else they did. You should also reach out to a sexual abuse attorney as soon as you can.
Remember, sexual abuse doesn’t always involve penetration.
Any non-consensual sexual act, such as groping or fondling, is already a form of sexual abuse. Abusers may also force their victims to undress or look at obscene photos. Perpetrators may also coerce their victims to touch them in a sexual manner.
- Complaints of Pain or Soreness
Younger sexual abuse child victims may complain about pain when peeing or defecating. This may arise from bleeding genital injuries. Parents or caregivers may also notice blood spots in a child’s underwear.
- Frequent Nightmares and Sleeping Problems
Sexual abuse victims, whether as children or adults, often have recurring nightmares. As a result, many of them develop sleep disorders. They may be able to fall asleep, but the sleep quality itself is poor.
If you’ve noticed these in your child, it’s best to know more about their bad dreams. They may be re-living their experiences in their sleep in the form of “monsters.” They may also develop night terrors that can make them afraid of going to sleep.
All these can be signs of sexual abuse and trauma. Reaching out to a specialist can help your child disclose a traumatic experience.
- Age-Inappropriate Sexual Knowledge
Some young child abuse victims may start to use sexual terminologies. They may use words referencing sexual body parts that aren’t appropriate to their age.
Some younger victims may also re-enact their experiences through play. They may do this on their own or with a playmate.
If you see your or any child exhibit these, please get in touch with an attorney for sexual abuse. These kids may have had a traumatic encounter with a sex offender.
A Sexual Abuse Attorney Can Help Put Offenders Behind Bars
Keep in mind that there are at least 900,000 registered sex offenders in the US alone. That should give you an idea of how anyone, but most especially kids, can be victims of sex crimes.
As such, if you, your child, or anyone you know is a victim, please get in touch with a sexual abuse attorney ASAP. The sooner you reach out to one, the sooner that criminal can go behind bars.
If you’re looking for more guides like this, please feel free to check our site’s other legal posts.