General FAQ's for those who care
This section contains FAQ's (frequently asked questions) for those who care about victims and/or abusers, mostly child sexual abuse victims and abusers, but some of what's here will apply to helping any victims or abusers. There are only a few questions at the moment, with more coming. If you have a question you think should be here, submit it here and I'll do my best to add it to this site with an answer.
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Why would an adult sexually abuse a child?
Here are some of the main reasons why an adult may sexually abuse a child.
- Some are sexually attracted to children. "faulty wiring"
Most of these people know it's wrong and some will successfully fight this feeling all their life, while others lose the battle.
- Some who are sexually attracted to children honestly believe it's normal and therefore ok as long as the child consents. They don't realise that most children will "consent" either because of love, fear or some other reason, and don't realise that even if they did consent, children aren't old enough for a choice like this.
- Some truly think they are just expressing their love. They don't understand the difference between the kinds of love.
- Some do it for power. They feel they have no control over relationships with adults, so they want a relationship with someone they can control.
- Sometimes pressure or stress gives them an urgent need "to be loved" so they will find themselves a partner, any partner.
- Younger people, or people who are younger mentally than physically, may see nothing wrong with it.
How many children are sexually abused?
What percentage of sexually abused children report the abuse?
Why do sexually abused children not report the abuse?
- If he/she tells, the abuser will go to jail.
- Nobody would believe him/her.
- People will blame him/her.
- This is our little secret.
- You won't get your allowance for a month.
- I'm showing you how much I love you.
- If you tell, I'll hurt your little sister/brother.
- If you tell, I'll kill your mom and/or dad.
- If you tell, I'll kill you.
Help prevent people from becoming victims:
How can I help prevent kids from becoming victims?
Are my children safe if I only have women babysitters?
Help victims step up to stop the abuse:
Is it possible to recognize victims?
How do I recognize victims?
One easy sign to notice, when abuse first starts, is a sudden change in a child's personality. If a child suddenly seems to have went into their own little world, something is probably wrong. Here is a short list of some common things you may notice in a child (or teen) who is (sexually) abused.
- A victim might appear to have an interest in sex beyond what's normal for their age. Unusual actions, interest, or questions can mean too little supervision when surfing the net, or it can mean they have been exposed to something they shouldn't be.
- A victim will almost always be afraid of the abuser, but sometimes the fear can be hard to see. The abuser has done a good job convincing the victim to not tell, but children can't always hide their fears. (see next question)
- A sudden drop in school grades usually has a cause. Many different things can cause this, but abuse (of any kind) is a possible reason.
- A victim may have trouble sleeping. Nightmares, and for younger victims, sudden bed-wetting.
- Suddenly starts being showered with money or gifts from someone, especially if that someone is a person that has no real reason for it, or if the child won't tell you who they are from. It could be their way of keeping the victim silent, or it could be in preparation for what they want to do.
- Sudden regression of apparent age. Victims sometimes subconsciously retreat back in time to before the abuse started.
- Children might suddenly be embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid to get undressed at normal times like bed or bath. They could be afraid you'll see something has happened, or maybe even afraid you, or someone else, will be doing something.
- In adolescents, self injury, drug or alcohol use, depression, sudden change of diet, any sign of unhappiness, could be a signal. These could be caused by the pressure adolescents face in today's society, but could also mean abuse.
Should I be worried if a child or teen appears to be afraid of someone?
What do I do if I think a child or teen is being sexually abused?
If you have any reason for concern of a child, talk to them. BUT, if there may be sexual abuse, be careful. Don't put ideas into their heads. Don't include details when you ask questions. Let the child provide the details. That way, if it goes to court, the abuser can't say someone put those ideas in the victim's head.
eg. Don't ask: "Did someone touch you between your legs?" Ask: "Did someone do something you didn't like?" or "Did someone do something to you, then tell you to keep it a secret?"
If you think a young person is being sexually abused, just find out if there is abuse, then go to the police and let them do the rest. They will have someone trained to do this the best way for the victim.
Help victims recover from abuse:
A victim has come forward and the abuser has been arrested. What's the first thing I should do?
Should I take my child for counseling?
Help abusers (or potential abusers) get the help they need:
Is it possible to recognize abusers or potential abusers?
How do I recognize potential abusers?
- Likes to be alone with a child (or teen).
- Gives gifts or money for no real reason.
- Tries to control the child (or teen) in ways they really have no reason for.
- A child appears to be a little too important to him (or her).
- *Babysits for free, or takes a child out often to give you breaks. Might be nice, but that "too good to be true" rule really applies here.
- Has very few adult friends. Tends to prefer being around kids or teens.
- Relates to a child in ways that should be with an adult, like using a child for love or comfort, or doing things with a child that should be done with an adult.
- Tends to be a little more affectionate than they should be.
- Talks about, or shows, adult material or topics, around children.
*Immediate family members or good friends would usually do this for the right reason, but remember, anybody can be an abuser.
How do I recognize abusers?
- Spends a lot of time alone with a child (or teen).
- Gives a lot of gifts or money for no real reason.
- Makes a kid give him (or her) a hug or kiss, or sit on his (or her) lap, even if the child doesn't want to.
- Tends to get too playful or touchy-feely, especially if the child asks them to stop and they don't, or if the child appears uncomfortable.
- *Babysits for free all the time, or spends more time with your kid than you do
- Talks about, or shows, adult material to children.
*Immediate family members or good friends may do this for the right reason, but if you have any doubts about the situation, make sure they're not doing it for the wrong reason.
Can adults who are sexually interested in children or teens be helped?
Can child sexual abusers be helped?
Help past abusers stay past abusers:
Can past abusers stay past abusers?
How can I help past abusers stay past abusers?
- Help them stay away from situations that may trigger a relapse.
- Help them put it behind them by not constantly reminding them of what they did.
- Help them have a normal life with normal relationships.
- It's a lot of work fighting it day after day, so any help from others to make it easier is appreciated.
- Because it's life long, they will have times when they will be weak, just like ex druggies, alcoholics, or even smokers, and in those times, they could easily relapse. Knowing there are people who care can help greatly.
What should I do if a child sexual abuser is living in my neighborhood?
You need to do 2 things. Help keep the young people in the area safe, and help the past abuser stay a past abuser. The first thing you should do is arrange for a neighborhood meeting. Let the neighborhood know about this person, but BE SURE to let them know that it would be a bad idea to attack, harass, or try to scare the person away, and let them know that by working together, with the others and the abuser, the neighborhood can be a safer place and the abuser can be helped. The next thing to do is have another meeting, inviting all the neighbors who want to be involved, and the abuser, letting the abuser know about the previous meeting and how the neighborhood wants to help. The purpose of this meeting will be to let the neighbors get to know the abuser and to let the abuser get to know the neighbors. Knowing the neighbors want to help will make it easier for the abuser and safer for the neighborhood. (see the previous question)
I will be adding more here soon. If you have a question you think should be here, submit it here and I'll do my best to add it to this site with an answer.
If you need help with something, or have a question of urgent need, feel free to contact me. If I don't know the answer, or can't help, I can help you find the answer or where to get help.
I am NOT a counselor, therapist, or any kind of licensed professional in this area and I have not had any training in this field. I'm just someone who knows a little about abuse, a lot about child sexual abuse, and even more about child sexual abusers. I want to help victims and abusers. By helping abusers, we will have less victims to worry about.
To help me make a difference in the world,
or find out how you can make a difference,
go to my newest site at:
Protecting The Children .org