5 behavior signs that show that your child might be a victim of sexual abuse but is too scared to speak!

Whether children verbally say their ordeals or not, their behavior always will.

Pakistan has seen a dramatic increase in the cases of child abuse over the past year. In the majority of these cases, the abuser is someone whom you know and trust.

Not too long ago, a 5th-grade student from Mandiala, Punjab, made the headlines. Her repeated rape at the hands of her school’s principal for months left her pregnant. The news of an 11-year-old boy who was gang-raped by 3 men in Taxila also made headlines . The rapists ‘threatened’ him to not say a word to his parents.

In all the cases where vulnerable and naïve children are the targets, the assaulters will always use pressurizing tactics to frighten the children, so that they don’t speak up.

Children can’t fight this. They can’t sustain the pressure and be ‘brave’. Children can’t stop what’s happening to them – but adults can!

Whether children talk about their ordeals or not, their behaviour always will. Every uncomfortable  situation involving a child mildly changes an established behaviour, with these alterations ranging from minor to major.

Being a careful adult, we must keep a close eye on changing behaviour patterns and find out the reason for it.

Here are 5 behaviour changes that can possibly be an indication that your child is experiencing sexual abuse but is too scared to talk about it:

Acting In A Sexual Way With Toys:

It doesn’t stop there. Children will generally reapply the same attitude in one way or another. If you see your child acting in a sexual or inappropriate way with a toy, know that it can be a warning sign. Don’t let it go unnoticed. Take your child in confidence and convince them to speak up.

Sleeping Problems:

If you notice unusual sleeping patterns – child sleeping more than usual or not sleeping at all – it can be a warning sign as well. Child Psychologists suggest that children also experience frequent nightmares and tend to repeatedly wake up through the night.

Feeling Withdrawn or Clingy:

Your child might be very expressive in showing love previously but all of a sudden, he seems to be losing interest in everything. Or your social child just doesn’t want to let go of you now and wants to keep hugging you all the time! The clingy behaviour usually reflects the sense of security the child experiences in your presence and withdrawal usually comes as an aftermath of extreme mental trauma.

Unexplained Injuries:

If you see your child’s body frequently bruised and when inquired the reason they say they ‘fell’, don’t let it go unnoticed. Especially if the injuries occur repeatedly around private parts, they are just not ‘there’. They can be a clear sign that your child is going through a plight he might be hiding under the excuse.

Feeling Reluctant To Meet Someone or Go Somewhere:

It can be school, a close relative or even someone they previously were comfortable around – if they are refusing to go somewhere, treat it more than a stubborn child tantrum. They are not always excuses. Take your child into confidence and gently try to know the reason rather than forcing them against their will.

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