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Every child is vulnerable to sexual abuse. Today’s parent must understand the possibility that someone may hurt or take advantage of their child. Very young children as well as older teenagers are victimized. Almost all of these children face a possibility of being abused by someone they know and trust, a relative, family friend.

Sexual abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional and includes: Sexual abuse involves forcing, tricking, bribing, threatening or pressuring a child into sexual awareness or activity. Sexual abuse occurs when an older or more knowledgeable child or an adult uses a child for sexual pleasure. The abuse often begins gradually and increases over time.

The use of physical force is rarely necessary to engage a child in sexual activity because children are trusting and dependent. They want to please others and gain love and approval. Children are taught not to question authority and they believe that adults are always right. Sexual abuse is an abuse of power over a child and a violation of a child’s right to normal, healthy, trusting relationships.

Signs of Sexual Abuse
Because most children cannot or do not tell about being sexually abused, it is up to adults to recognize signs of abuse. Therefore, we must look for behavior signs.

These are general behavior changes that may occur in children who have been sexually abused. The Silent Problem
Often children do not tell anyone about sexual abuse because they But the silence enables sexual abuse to continue. Silence protects sexual abusers and hurts children who are being abused. Sexual abuse is an extremely difficult and damaging experience. Today there are many resources to help victims and their families. Children no longer need to suffer in silence.

Protecting Our Children
Child Protection Child Protection
We want to protect our children from sexual abuse, but we can’t always be there to do that. We can, however, teach children about sexual abuse in order to increase their awareness and coping skills. Without frightening children, we can provide them with appropriate safety information and support at every stage of their development along with other routine safety discussions about fire, water, health, etc.

In order to protect children, teach them Always Listen to Your Children
If a child trusts you enough to tell you about an incident of sexual abuse, you are in an important position to help that child recover. The following suggestions can help you provide positive support.