Know the Signs and How to Handle Cases of Child Sexual Abuse in Your Family

Know the Signs of Child Sexual Abuse in Your Family

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.

Strange Avoidance

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 ??

Collect Evidence

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.

3 Ways to Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse

3 Ways to Protect Your Child from Sexual Abuse

Being a parent is the MOST.  It is the job we have that is the most challenging, the most difficult and the most rewarding and yet, we receive very little training on how to do it effectively, especially when it comes to sexual abuse.

As a Grammy to a 3-year old grandson and the mother of two grown children, I fully understand the complexities of being a parent and what it means for them to feel safe.

Not only am I a Practitioner who works with adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse,  I am also a survivor of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.  During the 52 year case study of myself and working with clients, I have contemplated, studied and watched the effects of abuse on children as they mature into adults.

Our children are like “case studies” in that we try this and experiment with that and have no real idea of how it will effect our child or the outcome until years later.

The sad truth is we cannot physically protect our children every minute of every day.   We also cannot create such fear in them or ourselves that we rob them (and us) of a happy life.   So what do we do?

After careful consideration, I believe these three ways are the most effective things you can do to protect your child from sexual abuse.


Educating yourself is a preventative measure for you and your child.  This education must be deeper than what you might hear on television.  Read books on the subject, attend seminars, watch documentaries, research statistics and scholarly articles.  One of the most important pieces of education you can have is to understand that most sexual abuse against children is from someone the child knows and trusts.  Educating yourself gives you a basic understanding of how,  when and where your child could be at risk.


Educating your child starts immediately.  The attention span of a child is going to be different at every age and every stage of maturity.  Based on the maturity level of the child, will depend on the type and method of education.  Teaching a child about their body and appropriate touches helps them become familiar in a non-scary or threatening way.  It just becomes part of how you teach them.  There are teachable moments every single day.  When we begin to teach children about their bodies, intimacy and sexuality, we must also be mindful that they will grow to be adults where sexuality is a natural part of being human.  How we teach our children impacts their safety as well as their healthy functioning as they become adults.


Children need to know that they have the power to say “NO” when it comes to their body.   When they need to talk, it is vital they know you will HEAR them and BELIEVE them.  It is imperative they know YOU are not going to become embarrassed or scared of them talking to you.

As a child, it is difficult to know that your parent is uncomfortable with their own body and sexuality.  Children need to know that you are a safe space for them and can handle whatever they bring to you.

There are no guarantees that you can protect your child.  There are no guarantees that your child will never encounter someone who is harmful.  Focusing on what you can do is empowering.  Remember to educate yourself.  Educate your child.  Then, empowering your child so they know what to do in the event they are placed in an uncomfortable situation.

If they are the victim of sexual abuse, it is imperative that they have a loving parent (or other adult) who will help them navigate, process and release the feelings they have about the abuse.  Holding these feelings, feeling guilty or shamed about what has happened to them, dis-empowers them and continues to hurt them throughout adulthood.

3 Ways To Protect Your Child From Sexual Abuse | Raising World Children | Family | Parenting | life lessons | Sexual Abuse | | Protect Kids Online

Tammy Coin is a Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner, Teacher and Speaker. She holds sacred space & helps you locate the unhealed emotions leftover from Childhood Abuse & Trauma that block the door to your authentic self. She then partners with you, using the pieces of her own life, to empower, motivate and inspire you to fully uncover your Soul Purpose. You can find her