I am writing to inform all parents on the reality of childhood sexual abuse.
If you are anything like me you may think that a sexual predator is a dirty old man with a mustache.
With out proper education we may drift towards what we have seen in a movie, magazine or book. It is not uncommon for us to stereotype.
The truth is, however, abusers come in all shapes and sizes, male and female, it does not matter how much or how little money they have, how respected they are with in our community or the individuals race. You know it's a sad world when not only a stranger can do such acts, but also a member of your family.
As a matter of fact 4 out of 5 children are abused by a well known relative. That is 80 percent to 85 percent, and only 20 percent by an unknown person.
Incest is very common in the USA. Unfortunately nine times out of 10 there is no physical evidence which makes it hard for the abuse to stop.
Many times many times the victim is in fear of what the perpetrator has said to them. The abuser may have told the child that he/she will hurt him/her or the child's loved ones.
Sexual predators know exactly how to manipulate a child into thinking they did something wrong.
If the perpetrator is close to the victim he/she may believe that the abuser will no longer love them. Or that the abuser will get into trouble.
Children trust and love very deeply they do not want to hurt anyone.
They believe what the perpetrator is saying because they are innocent to the lie. Other times the victim has no idea what is going on because they have not yet received the proper knowledge of good touch bad touch which can be taught as early as 3 years old.
Although there may not be physical evidence there are many warning sings, such as:
- Bed wetting.
- Acting out in an inappropriate way towards toys, objects, pets, and even siblings.
- Playing with feces.
If these are happening at once it may be wise to inform your child's pediatrician or family doctor. Keep in mind that stresses can come about such as divorces, problems with friends/school, the loss of a pet or loved one.
The very best thing we can do for our children is talk to them daily and reassure them that they are safe. Believe in your child.