Home > News > Child Protection Month April 2011

Child Protection Month April 2011

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in any sexual practices with an adult or older child. It includes fondling of private parts, making suggestions of a sexual nature, penetration (anal, oral or vaginal) It also includes exposure to indecent pictures, film, literature or behaviour.

Signs of sexual abuse:

  • Precocious sexual behaviour
  • Unexplained bleeding or discharge from genital or anal areas
  • Stress related disorders
  • Infections in the mouth or throat
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained vomiting or gagging
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawal
  • Low self esteem
  • Problems at school

A child who is being sexually abused may become withdrawn, depressed, sometimes suicidal, self-destructive, obsessed with private parts and fearful.

A child who reports that he/she is being abused should be:

  • believed…children rarely make up stories of abuse
  • reassured that he/she is not at fault
  • given a promise that he/she will be protected from further abuse
  • taken to the doctor
    When someone is sexually abused by a family member, it is called “incest”. This form of sexual abuse is particularly traumatic because it breaks the trust a child has placed in someone who is normally caring and nurturing. 

    Sometimes parents, and especially mothers, do not want to believe that their child has been molested, particularly when it is someone, sometimes the breadwinner, who lives in the same house or nearby.

    NEVER blame your child. Sexual abuse is never the child’s fault. PLEASE believe your child. Not only is it against the law to keep such information to yourself, but you may be sacrificing your child’s physical and emotional health if you do not seek help.

    If you suspect or know of a child who is being abused, it is imperative that you make a  report to your local Crisis Centre, Social Services Department or the Police.

    In the Bahamas, call the Crisis Centre at 328-0922 or the Child Protective Services on 326-0451 or the Child Abuse Hotline on 322-2763

     

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