Child Sexual Abuse

What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

Children who are exploited and victimised for sexual gratification by adults are scarred for life. Many of their abusers are usually people they know.

What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

Child sexual abuse is the exploitation of a child for sexual gratification by an adult or an older person. It is called incest if it occurs between family members, including mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, adoptive and step relations, legitimate or illegitimate children or relatives of whole or half-blood.

Child sexual abuse should not be confused with physical contact between an adult and a child that are fond of each other or playful expressions of love. Responsible adults limit their physical exchange with a child, respect the child and at the same time, maintain a warm, healthy, affectionate relationship.

According to the parliamentary statistics, in 2017, out of the total number of 1,951 reported cases of rape, 80% of the victims are children, i,e below the age of 18 years old. Most of the perpetrators or abusers are usually people known to the child such as fathers, stepfathers, relatives, grandparents, tuition teachers and neighbours.

A sexually abused child feels that their life is different from the rest of the other children.

The child might experience emotions such as:

 
Recognising Child Sexual Abuse Signs and Symptoms

You may have difficulty identifying a sexually abused child if he or she doesn’t tell you directly. Observe their behaviour if you suspect the child has been sexually abused.

Physical signs:

  • Reddening/itching of genital or anus
  • Pain or injury of genital/anus
  • Pain in passing urine
  • Vaginal/penile discharge
  • Abdominal pains
  • Venereal diseases
  • Pregnancy

Behavioural signs:

  • Clinging behavior
  • Withdrawal/thumb-sucking
  • Bed-wetting inappropriate for age
  • Truancy
  • Poor school performance
  • Running away
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Suicide attempts
  • Excessive masturbation
  • Seductive behavior
  • Sexual knowledge and activities inappropriate for age

Psychological signs:

  • Headache
  • Stomachache
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Fainting spells
  • Tearfulness
  • Hysteria
  • Irrational fears
  • Appetite loss
  • Lack of concentration
  • Low self-esteem
Types of Sexual Abuse