Sexual abuse can have a devastating, lifelong impact on a child. Few crimes evoke the level of outrage that sexual abuse of a child does, and for good reason. Suffering from sexual abuse at a young age can leave a child in need of therapy for many years to come and cause troubling behavioral changes. The sooner the abuse is caught, the more complete a child’s emotional and psychological recovery can be. Parents should keep a lookout for any signs that their child is being hurt in this fashion. There are some signs that may prompt parents and other concerned adults to investigate further.
If your child was the victim of sexual abuse, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit on top of any criminal action that may take place. The individual or organization responsible for harming your child can be held financially responsible for their horrible behavior. Any money recovered can be used to aid your child’s long-term recovery.
What Are Some Signs That a Child is Being Sexually Abused?
Children who are going through another type of difficult situation may show some of these signs. Other signs can be explained by a child having been accidentally exposed to sexual materials. However, if more than one of these signs is present, parents may want to investigate further and consider enlisting a professional to help determine if your child is facing sexual abuse. Signs include:
Sexual behavior – A child who behaves sexually, or who suddenly uses adult-like sexual language, or possesses knowledge of sex without explanation can be a warning sign.
Gifts – Children should be able to account for any toys, candy, or money they have received. A child who refuses to say where they got the items could be receiving bribes.
Secrets – Children who are being abused may mention sharing a secret with an adult, but refuse to elaborate.
Sexual play – While children playing “doctor” is quite common, children who begin play-acting sexual situations or drawing sexual images may have been exposed to sexual abuse.
Sleep problems – Victims of sexual abuse may suddenly have trouble sleeping or experience frequent nightmares.
Fear of people or places – If your child abruptly fears a person or place they used to be comfortable with, you may want to find out why.
Age regression – Older children who have been victimized may revert to behaviors they exhibited while they were younger, such as thumb-sucking, asking to be picked up, or carrying a security blanket.
Refusing to undress – Child victims may abruptly refuse to undress or be undressed for normal activities like bath time, toileting, or changing clothes.
While there could be a benign explanation for some of these signs, it is always best to investigate so that any possible abuse is caught as early as possible.
Call a Kane County Lawyer for Childhood Sexual Abuse
Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. is dedicated to recovering civil damages for children affected by sexual abuse. Our Aurora sexual abuse lawyers will bring in experts when needed to help aggressively pursue these cases while minimizing further emotional distress to children. Call 630-907-0909 for a free and completely confidential consultation.