Friday, April 9, 2010

Stop The Silence!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month~

*There are at least 60 million childhood sexual abuse survivors in the U.S. today. (Forward, 1993.)

*The typical child sex offender molests an average of 117 children, most of whom do not report the offense. (National Institute of Mental Health, 1988.)

*About 95% of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused. (CCPCA, 1992.)

*Long term effects of child abuse include fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor self esteem, tendency toward substance abuse and difficulty with close relationships. (Browne & Finkelhor, 1986.)

*When sexually abused boys are not treated, society must later deal with the resulting problems, including crime, suicide, drug use and more sexual abuse. (Dr. William Holmes)

*Studies found that one-third of juvenile delinquents, 40 percent of sexual offenders and 76 percent of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters. (Dr. William Holmes)

YES. It's a fact. YES. It's ugly. YES. It's easier to pretend it doesn't exist or affect you.

But a CHILD you know is being sexually abused RIGHT NOW. They're scared. They're alone. They're ashamed. They're carrying the burden of a horrific, ugly secret.

What are you going to do?

BE THE SOLUTION. Listen loud enough to hear this child's silent screams. STOP THE SILENCE.

Warning Signs in Children and Adolescents of Possible Child Sexual Abuse

Any one sign doesn't mean that a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you begin asking questions and consider seeking help. Keep in mind that some of these signs can emerge at other times of stress such as:

* During a divorce
* Death of a family member or pet
* Problems at school or with friends
* Other anxiety-inducing or traumatic events

Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent

* Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
* Seems distracted or distant at odd times
* Has a sudden change in eating habits
o Refuses to eat
o Loses or drastically increases appetite
o Has trouble swallowing.
* Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
* Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
* Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
* Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
* Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
* Talks about a new older friend
* Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
* Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad
* Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language and knowledge

Signs more typical of younger children

* An older child behaving like a younger child (such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking)
* Has new words for private body parts
* Resists removing clothes when appropriate times (bath, bed, toileting, diapering)
* Asks other children to behave sexually or play sexual games
* Mimics adult-like sexual behaviors with toys or stuffed animal
* Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

Signs more typical in adolescents

* Self-injury (cutting, burning)
* Inadequate personal hygiene
* Drug and alcohol abuse
* Sexual promiscuity
* Running away from home
* Depression, anxiety
* Suicide attempts
* Fear of intimacy or closeness
* Compulsive eating or dieting

Physical warning signs

Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare. If you see these signs, bring your child to a doctor. Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.

* Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
* Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
* Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

1 Thoughts:

Lori Ann said...

Warning Signs taken from: http://www.stopitnow.comwarning_signs_child_behavior

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