How Can You Tell If A Child Has Experienced Abuse? John Walsh From "America's Most Wanted" Answers.
If you've been anywhere near a newspaper, television, computer or even the water cooler, you know that child sexual abuse is a very hot topic right now. Who better to fill us in on how you might be able to tell if a child has been abused than America's renowned child safety advocate, John Walsh.
Here are his tips on determining whether or not someone has been abused:
Unfortunately, children who’ve been the victim of sexual abuse often keep it to themselves. They may be scared, confused, or ashamed. Even worse, they may believe it was somehow their fault. But even if a child doesn’t talk about abuse, they might show it in their behavior.
According to experts, an abused child might display extreme mood changes, have trouble sleeping, or show what’s known as “regressive behavior,” such as bedwetting or thumb sucking. The child might also begin to show inappropriate sexual behavior for their age. It’s possible that this behavior could be due to other causes, so it’s important to try to determine what’s behind it. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) offers a lot of resources to help parents and other adults identify some of these potential signs of abuse, along with great advice about what you can do if a child you know has been a victim. You can check out what they have to offer at NCMEC’s website. One of the most important things you can do is to believe your child, and to be supportive if he or she comes forward with abuse claims. It’s hard to imagine how difficult and frightening it is for a child to talk about sexual abuse.
Don't miss the newest season of America's Most Wanted. Friday's on Lifetime at 9 pm/8c. Watch a preview.