A child is sexually abused when they are forced to take part in sexual activities. It is a form of child abuse that includes sexual activities with a minor. At times the child involved may not even understand that they were sexually abused. Sexual abuse must not also be physical, it can happen online.
Forms of Sexual Abuse
- Exposing oneself to a minor.
- Masturbation in the presence of a minor or forcing a minor to masturbate.
- Obscene phone calls, text messages or digital messages.
- Sharing pornographic images of children.
- Sex of any kind with a minor including vaginal, anal or canal.
- Sex trafficking.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children
The child starts to:
- Stay away from people or become very clingy.
- Show inappropriate sexual behaviour.
- Have physical symptoms like soreness of the vagina or anus, unusual discharge, sexually transmitted infection, pregnancy.
- Have eating disorders, aggression.
- Avoid a particular child or adult.
Effects of Child Sexual Abuse
- Struggling with relationships.
- Learning difficulties.
- Drug or alcohol addiction.
- Poor health.
- Emotional difficulties which often lead to mental problems.
What To Do:
- Talk to the child. But remember, you need to be calm. The child needs to earn your trust.
- Ensure to build a positive relationship with the child.
- Partner with the school or teacher.
- Spend more time with the child, that way you can make observations about the child.
In Nigeria, according to studies by UNICEF, one in ten boys and one in ten girls experience sexual violence.
When it comes to the issue of sex, parents and caregivers tend to shy away, meanwhile, this is a very important aspect that should be taught to a child.
The key point is, make out time for every child. An abused child lives with the scars and this affects the child even in adulthood.