The mere thought of child sexual abuse is difficult to think about on any level. When you place that concept into the context of a familial relationship, it can be quite easy to shut down and want to look the other way.
If you believe your child or a child you know may have been sexually abused by a family member, though, it’s important to know the signs of this abuse so that you can properly respond. To help you on this difficult road, here are some insights so that you can know the signs of child sexual abuse and how to handle these instances.
One of the ways that a sexual predator gains the trust of a potential victim is by becoming close friends with them. From the outside, this typically looks like a simple, loving relationship, especially in the context of a family. If you notice a sudden change in this relationship, though, wherein the child seems to be avoiding a certain family member that they used to enjoy being around, you may want to investigate further.
Change in Behavior
One of the ways that a sexual predator convinces their victims to stay quiet is to instill fear in their hearts and minds. This fear, in many cases, will cause a child’s behavior to change in fairly dramatic ways. If you notice that your child doesn’t enjoy certain activities that they used to do all the time, or if they pick up sudden bad habits such as nail-biting or wetting the bed, then it could be evidence of a serious issue.
Get Help Quickly
Given the complicated relationships involved in familial sexual abuse, it’s important to find a trusted child sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Having a lawyer to guide you through the process will help you when emotions run high to ensure the victim is fairly represented. This can also help on the back end as you seek to hold the rest of your family together to try and provide some sense of normalcy for your child.
What do You Do After ??
Although a victim’s testimony is a crucial part of convicting a sexual predator, it is helpful to have other types of evidence to present at the trial. This additional evidence will help to seal the case, ensuring the perpetrator receives the full punishment that they deserve. Therefore, collecting emails, texts, notes, photos, and anything else that pertains to the case is helpful as you seek justice for your child.
Though this is undoubtedly a devastatingly difficult topic to talk about with anyone, it’s important to find one or two trusted friends who you can talk to throughout the process. If you try to keep your emotions locked inside, they will become overwhelming until you do something that causes you or others harm. By having others to talk to when you’re struggling, you’ll help ensure that you’re able to provide a solid emotional foundation for your child to lean on.