Parents are surrounded by messages and media coverage about child sexual abuse. It can be overwhelming.
Children who have been sexually assaulted or abused may show a range of both subtle and dramatic changes in personal behaviors.
Here is a list of some behaviors which may occur:
- Sleep disturbances or bed wetting
- Loss of appetite or eating disorders
- Withdrawal from usual activity
- Changes in school performance
- Aggressive or regressive behavior
- Sudden/continual protesting when left with caregiver
- Fire starting
- Animal abuse
- Unusual interest/knowledge of sexual matters, inappropriate for the child’s age
For more information on how to talk to your child about sexual abuse, you can find more information at RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).
What if my child is the offender?
Parents who find out their child has sexually abused another person often go through a period of soul-searching, yet how you react to this situation could make a difference in how your child responds. So, it is important that you attempt the following:
- Make use of family and trusted friends for support.
- Cooperate with the authorities.
- Seek therapeutic guidance and counseling services for yourself and the offender.
- Know that time helps to heal.
For more information, referrals and resources contact the Sexual Assault Crisis Center by calling 920.733.8119 or 800.722.7797.