How to Help Children Come Forward After Sexual Abuse

How to Help Children Come Forward After Sexual Abuse

Children who are victims of sexual abuse suffer both physical and emotional injuries that require professional help, as well as parental intervention to come forward after abuse.

Helping Children Through Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse, also referred to as child molestation, occurs when a perpetrator intentionally inflicts sexual acts on a minor child. Perpetrators are usually adults, but older children can be perpetrators as well. In either case, a minor child can not give consent to any form of sexual activity making child sexual abuse a crime.

Child sexual abuse does not always include physical intercourse between a perpetrator and a child. Minor sexual assault liability lawyers often see other forms of child sexual abuse including:

  • Fondling and inappropriate touching
  • Exhibitionism or exposing oneself to a minor
  • Masturbation in the presence of a minor
  • Sharing pornographic images or movies
  • Obscene phone calls, emails, and text messages
  • Sex trafficking

Perpetrators of child sexual abuse are often very skilled at manipulating children. Abusers use a number of different tactics including intimidation and threats of harm to make sure the child doesn’t tell anyone about the abuse. For this reason, children often remain silent and parents miss the warning signs of sexual abuse. If child sexual abuse is suspected, parents can help their child come forward in numerous ways.

Teaching Boundaries About Touching

Parents can teach children that no one has the right to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, including other family members, teachers, friends, and strangers. Since perpetrators often threaten harm if “the secret” gets out, parents must let children know they can always speak up without any fear of punishment or judgment.

Teaching About Body Parts

At an appropriate age, parents should teach children how to talk about their bodies. Teaching about specific body parts and functions from an early age helps arm children with language and information that can protect them from predators and make it easier to come forward and talk about inappropriate sexual behavior. 

Any form of child sexual abuse can create physical injuries and emotional damages that lasts for years, and in some cases, a lifetime. Minor sexual assault liability lawyers often see victims of child sexual abuse who struggle with low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, self-identity, various psychological disorders, and future relationships. Early intervention by parents and medical professionals can prevent a lifetime of suffering for a child victimized by a child predator.