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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Parenting the sexually abused (Part # 4)

What Behaviors or Signs

Might You See in a Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused?
While no one sign or behavior can be considered absolute proof that sexual abuse has occurred, you should consider the possibility of sexual abuse when one or several of these signs or behaviors are present.

Physical Signs:
  • Scratches, bruises, itching, rashes, cuts or injuries, especially in the genital area
  • Venereal disease
  • Pregnancy in (young) adolescents
  • Blood or discharge in bedding or clothes, especially underwear

Behavioral Signs:

  • Aggressive behavior towards younger children
  • Advanced sexual knowledge for the child's age
  • Seductive or "sexy" behavior towards adults or peers
  • Pseudo-mature behavior (for instance, a girl who is eight and dresses like a 16 year-old, wears makeup and generally acts "too old for her age," or a young boy who attempts to be his mother's "man" in every sense of the word)
  • Regressed behavior (for example, the child who has been toilet trained starts wetting the bed)
  • Excessive masturbation, masturbation in public places, difficulty with being re-focused to another behavior
  • Poor relationships with peers
  • Fear of a particular person, place or thing (for example, if the abuse occurred in the bathroom, the child may show fear in that room)
  • Sudden or extreme changes in behavior (for instance, a previously good student starts having trouble with school work, a child who was not sad before starts crying frequently or acting sad, or a formerly cooperative child acts defiantly or is uncooperative or unusually overly cooperative)
  • Eating disorders (overeats, undereats)

Additional Behavioral Signs in Pre-teens and Adolescents:

  • Self-mutilation (the child may repeatedly pick at scabs, cut him/herself with a razor blade, bite his/her finger or arm, burn him/herself with a cigarette)
  • Threatening or attempting suicide
  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Becoming promiscuous (a child is sexually active without discrimination, or just has that reputation)
  • Being prudish (the child avoids any sexuality, does not see him/herself as a sexual being in any way)
  • Prostitution
  • Fire-setting
  • Lying, stealing
  • Running away
  • Isolating self or dropping friends
  • Pre-occupation with death (the child may write poems about death, may ask a lot of questions about death, such as "What does it feel like and where do people go?")

Some Additional Behavioral Signs in Children Who Have Been Ritualistically/Satanically Abused:

  • Bizarre nightmares
  • Sadistic play (for example, mutilation of dolls or small animals)
  • Self-mutilation
  • Pre-occupation with death
  • Increased agitation on certain dates which represent satanic high holy days
  • A constant fear of harm and extreme fear of being alone

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