Child Sexual Abuse

Unfortunately, child sexual abuse is a horrific crime that still happens worldwide. Worse, sexual abuse is not always noticed by family and loved ones, or worse, it goes unreported.

This abuse involves sexual contact with a child;  other forms of sexual abuse include exposing a child to obscene images, inappropriate photos or videos, or exposing oneself to a child. As per the Michigan age of consent, This is a crime that seriously harms a child’s life and affects their social and physical development and mental state. As the child ages, the impact of the abuse continues well into adulthood, causing them indefinite psychological trauma. 

It’s essential to be able to identify the warning signs of child sexual abuse to protect them. If you place the warning signs, you can end them! If you know of a child suffering or an adult committing these crimes, you can get help to take legal action now from, which has experienced trial attorneys ready to help. Do not be afraid to seek advice, as it’s not always easy to spot signs of abuse in a child.

The following is what to look out for and what legal action to take: 

Physical warning 
  • signs of trauma to the genital area or any signs of infection, as it may be a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Any bleeding, especially if you cannot confirm the source of the bleeding.
  • Any bruises or blood on their clothes and sheets.

It’s important to always make your child feel safe enough to discuss anything with you.

Behavioural warning signs

  • The child conducts any sort of sexual behaviour that is highly inappropriate for their age.
  • The child starts or engages in topics of a sexual nature; has unexpected knowledge of sexual topics
  • You find the child wetting or soiling the bed when they have already outgrown such behaviour.
  • The child wants to avoid removing clothes or taking a bath; she does not feel comfortable in the nude.

The child reverts to behaviours they had already outgrown, such as thumb sucking and other behaviours that tend to represent the need for comfort or security. 

Emotional warning signs

  • The child begins to worry excessively and displays an unusual amount of fear.
  • The child begins to have recurring nightmares and fears of being alone at night.
  • Suddenly fear being alone with a particular adult; fears being away from their primary caregiver.

Signs an adult is abusive toward a child.

  • Be cautious of an adult displaying the following behaviour below:
  • An adult who does not respect boundaries you have put in place, especially a disregard towards the word “No.”
  • An adult who engages in any touching of a child the parent or caregiver has deemed inappropriate.
  • An adult who tries to act as a child’s friend rather than an authority figure for the child to look up to.
  • An adult who seems to rarely have an age-appropriate relationship.
  • An adult who finds opportunities or excuses to be alone with children.
  • An adult who constantly brings child gifts under no occasion.

An adult who takes notice sparks the conversation about a child’s sexual development and sexualizes normal behaviour. 

How to take action

When you have identified sexual abuse of a child, you must take action. As challenging as it may be, it is vital to step in whenever you suspect something. You must pay attention to a child’s discomfort with a specific human being, and if they have difficulty communicating this, seek professional help.

While you may have the child's best interests in mind, it is highly recommended that you take legal action in such cases. Laws vary when reporting abuse, so it’s essential to find out how. You can seek guidance from law enforcement, your trusted lawyers, child protective services, or the Department of Family and Child Services.

These crimes are often committed and could endanger a child’s mental state indefinitely. Learn to identify the abovementioned signs and pay attention to the child’s physical and emotional behaviours. It’s essential to regularly create an open dialogue with the child and let them know they can come to you with any thoughts or fears. 

Whether you are the primary caregiver or not, don’t be afraid to step in and take legal action when protecting children from sexual abuse. Children often need adults to be their advocates at a young age as they cannot adequately advocate for themselves.