When a child is sexually abused, it’s take away their innocence. It affects their self-esteem, personality development, socialization and achievements. Later in life, it can cause intimacy issues in relationships. Childhood sexual abuse is an intrusion into a child’s deepest, most delicate private parts and it is alltoo common. One in four girls and one in seven boys experience sexual abuse during childhood. Many children keep it a secret and could be frightened to say anything or it’s too difficult to talk about. There is hope for children who have experienced sexual abuse. With the right kind of help like recognizing the signs and talking with your child, they can recover completely and live a normal happy life.
Semantic experiencing is a technique that has been developed over several decades through research and practical application. Somatic means body, to sensations, feelings and touch. Research shows that healing actually takes place in the body, not in the mind. Children who have experience sexual trauma are prone to somatic symptoms from physical rigidity, awkwardness, or excessive weight gain or loss. They attempt to lock out others and avoid the body. Also common is the child will tend to live in a fantasy world. They have trouble with paying attention, space out, daydream and dissociate in order to compartmentalize the awful experience and unlock themselves from the event(s).
Talking With the Child
Child sexual abuse is a difficult subject that can be hard to accept and even harder to talk about. Keep in mind; you can make a huge difference in the abused child’s life if you take the steps to stop the abuse early. When talking with an abused child, the best thing you can provide is calm reassurance and unconditional support. Let your actions speak for you if you are having trouble finding the right words to say. Talking about the abuse may be very difficult for the child. It’s your job to reassure and provide whatever help you can.
Tips for Talking With a Child
- Avoid denial and remain calm – The child may deny the abuse, remain calm and reassure them that you can help.
- Do not interrogate – Do not ask leading questions, let the child explain their story their way.
- Reassure the child that they did nothing wrong – It’s very difficult for a child to come forward about abuse. Let them know it is not their fault.
- Safety comes first – If you feel the child would be in danger if you intervene, leave it to the professionals. You may be able to provide more support later.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused, don’t hesitate to get help from a sex abuse lawyer who is trustworthy. The attorneys at Kosnoff Fasy are dedicated to assisting the survivors of sexual abuse.