Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tolson 4 TEARS: Signs A Child Being Molested

In my memoir Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story, I wrote about being a victim of child abuse and incest. As I wrote, I discovered there are identifiable signs that a child has been (is being) molested. Nearly all of these symptoms are discussed in my book, illustrating to the reader how initial signs like a change in eating habits can escalate to full-blown eating disorders if the child is not appropriately treated in the aftermath of abuse.


Perhaps those around me noticed the signs, yet my family was oblivious to the harm inflicted upon me. All they were capable of doing was asking me, "What is wrong with you?" It is not about what is wrong with the child; it is about what evil heinous acts of abuse were done to an innocent kid. The signs are telling what children cannot put into words. You can do better than my parents. You can do your part to prevent obtuse questions that burden the child (like "What is wrong with you?") by being aware of the signs that a child is abused. Perhaps your knowledge will lead to insightful, informative communication with a child that has been wronged. 


The following may indicate that a child has been molested. However, children do not always demonstrate obvious signs, but may do or say something that hints at the molestation. These signs are not all-inclusive and may have other explanations. Contact a health care provider, therapist, or counselor. Some information is from Center for Missing & Exploited Children
BEHAVIOR CHANGES
  • Excessive crying
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Fearfulness and/or bravado
  • Withdrawal and/or rebellion
  • A fear of certain places, people or activities
SLEEP DISTURBANCES
  • Nightmares
  • Bed-wetting
  • Fear of going to bed
  • Inability to stay asleep
  • Desire to sleep during the day
EATING HABITS
  • Over or under eating
  • Refusing foods once enjoyed
SEXUAL ACTIVITY
  • Acting out with inappropriate sexual actions
  • Showing an unusual interest in sexual matters
BODY APPEARANCE
  • Bruises, rashes, cuts, limping
  • Multiple or poorly explained injuries
  • Pain, itching, bleeding, fluid or rawness in the private areas
DAILY PERFORMANCE
  • Sudden change in grades
  • Changes in toilet-training habits
  • Sudden change in relationship to school/play mates
TELLING
If a child tells, believe him/her. Children do not have a frame of reference to make it up.

Prepared by Lynn C. Tolson, advocate/author
Tolson4TEARS: Telling Everyone About Rape & Suicide, so no shed tear is wasted




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