With the recent upsurge of COVID-19, the government has asked people to go on lockdown. The lockdown had us also witnessing an increased case of molestation of children especially girls. This could be due to either that the victims are now closer to their molesters or people are now finding out due to a longer stay at home.
Child molestation may include inappropriate contact with a child, like exposing oneself, sharing obscene images or taking inappropriate photos or videos of a child.
The unfortunate part is that the perpetrators are always a significant other; a relative, teacher, care-taker, a trusted one. As a parent, this is the least thing you would wish for your child. Most children don't speak out when being molested and you may be wondering why your child didn't confide in you.
Why children may not Tell.
A research study shows that victims can take up to 26 years to disclose being molested. A victim may even take it to his or her grave. Children may not disclose because of any of these reasons; blaming themselves, feeling of embarrassment, shame, powerlessness or fear of the perpetrator.
Some children don't disclose because they may just don't know how to talk about it. They don't know if anybody will listen or not especially when the perpetrator is a family member or trusted one.
Some children may actually care about the perpetrator and what may happen to the perpetrator if they disclose. They may be scared of causing family disunity or distress.
On the other hand, the perpetrator may manipulate the child using psychological pressure, tangible incentives (such as toys and money) to keep the child quiet. He or she may even threaten the child of his or her life. The child's silence may be maintained by the perpetrator suggesting the child will not be believed about the abuse, using threats and blame.
How to know a child is being molested.
The big question is, how do you identify that your child is being molested. One can't be too careful but always trust your instincts. If you feel something is wrong, don't down play it, go for it and find out more. You should be watchful of these signs in your children:
1. Infection: your child may come down with infections
2. Signs of trauma like bleeding or blood on cloth or sheets.
3. Child complaining of pain while urinating.
1. Change in mood or personality, such as increased aggression.
2. Nightmares or fear of being alone at night.
3. Loss or decrease in interest in school, activities or friends.
4. Change in eating habits and always being fearful.
1. Excessive talk or knowledge of inappropriate topics
2. Keeping secrets or not talking as he or she used to.
3. Being afraid of a particular person and trying not to spend time alone with them.
What do I do if I find out my child or a child is being molested?
First and foremost, as a parent or significant other you have to be friends with your children. Create a trusting and friendly environment so that your child would be able to talk to you about any problem, knowing you would back him or her up.
Encourage open conversation. Having open conversation early will build the child's knowledge and may encourage the child to be more open about uncomfortable experience they may have.
If a child comes to you to disclose being molested, give the child your undivided attention and support. You have to believe him or her. Research suggests children are more likely to disclose abuse if they feel they have at least one trusted adult they can turn to who will listen and believe them.
Report to the police or any child protection organizations. Take your child to the hospital for test and adequate medical care.
Stay at alert for your children.
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Content created and supplied by: NurseAdaku (via Opera News )