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Identifying and Protecting Your Children from Sexual Trauma

Sexual Trauma

Sexual trauma is a pervasive problem that has a significant impact on children. Studies have shown that as many as one in ten children will experience some form of sexual abuse or assault before they reach the age of 18. This problem can have a long-term impact on a child’s physical, emotional, and psychological development. Survivors of sexual abuse often suffer from PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues. They are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse.

If your child was the victim of sexual assault (PDF) the California child sexual abuse lawyer at Beck Law P.C. can help you take legal action to secure justice.

What Is Sexual Trauma in Kids?

Sexual trauma in children is defined as any sexual act or experience that is forced upon a child before they are old enough to give consent. This can include everything from inappropriate touching to rape. 

It also includes being molested and witnessing sexual activity. It can cause physical and emotional damage that can last a lifetime. 

All of these criminal acts are strictly frowned upon and carry different penalties under California child sex abuse law.

How Do Children Experience Sexual Trauma?

Sexual trauma can have a variety of effects on children, depending on their age, developmental stage, and individual experiences. Very young children may not understand what is happening to them and may feel confused, ashamed, or scared. They may also have difficulty expressing what they are feeling or be unable to articulate what happened to them. Older children may feel embarrassed, guilty, or responsible for the abuse. They may also have flashbacks, nightmares, and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

In some cases, children may also exhibit sexually inappropriate behaviors. 

How Can Parents Identify if Their Child Has Experienced Sexual Trauma?

There is no one specific answer to this question as every child’s experience with sexual trauma is unique. However, there are some general signs and symptoms that may indicate that a child has experienced sexual trauma. These can include:

  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Problems sleeping or eating
  • Nightmares or flashbacks of the traumatic event
  • Self-harm or suicide attempts
  • Difficulty trusting others

Another sign that a child may have been abused is if they have physical injuries, such as bruises, welts, or scars. They may also have symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

If you suspect that your child has been sexually exploited, it’s important to seek help right away. There are professionals who can assist you with addressing the trauma your child suffered and also ensuring your child’s safety. 

What Can Parents Do to Help Protect Their Children From Sexual Assault?

There are a few things that parents can do in order to help protect their children from sexual trauma. One of the most important is to be open and honest with their children about sex and sexuality, and to answer any questions that they may have. 

It is also important for parents to listen to their children, be supportive, and provide a safe place for them to talk about anything that may have happened to them.

Finally, parents must always be aware of their child’s activities and who they are spending time with. Even with peers and family members, children must be spoken to about safe and unsafe behaviors.

The Importance of Early Identification and Intervention for Children Who Have Experienced Sexual Abuse

The sexual exploitation of children is a heinous crime that can have long-term effects on the victims. It’s thus important for parents to be aware of the signs of sexual trauma and to take steps to protect their children from becoming victims.

The Sonoma County child sex abuse law firm – Beck Law, PC is committed to assisting anybody who is or has been the victim of sexual abuse in obtaining both financial recompense for their suffering and the justice they are entitled to. Contact Beck Law P.C. to schedule a free consultation today. 

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