Sep 27, 2012

Signs that your child been tampered with

This is a hard one to prove and even harder when it involves a family member. Molesting a child is an evil act as besides the physical and emotional scarring it is a deep betrayal and loss of innocence. The child will never be fully recovered as you cannot heal intangible wounds with a pill. Therapy will help and must be applied, but the best resolution of all is to prevent the child from being molested in the first place. In South Africa it is estimated that four girls and one in eight boys are sexually abused before the age of sixteen.

Signs that your child has been tampered with

• The child's personality changes and she wets her bed and is afraid to go to sleep for fear that something will happen; she never had the problem before.
• The child becomes clingy at the sight of a male family member.
She always has money and sweets she got from an uncle.
Her eating pattern has changed her from healthy to thin and frail.
The child is withdrawn and has nightmares and screams in her sleep.
She is afraid to go to a certain relative’s house.

This does not mean, however, that if you have some of the above symptoms that you have been molested. The signs are merely to alert you that something is remiss and that you should look deeper into the matter. Children who have been molested are not talkers and suffer in silence. Not all perpetrators strike immediately; some nourish their victims for years, until the time is right.

Facts about perpetrators

• More often than not the child knows the molester.
*Most perpetrators have no criminal record.
*Perpetrators can be members of the child’s family.
*Pedophiles sit on park benches and watch the children at play.
*Sexual offenders love reading porn.
*Offenders always appear innocent to children and offer them money and sweets to help find the dog. There is no dog.

Protecting your kids

Talk to them about strangers bearing gifts.
Don’t be graphic and speak in a calm voice.
Don’t evoke unnecessary fear although you would like them to be aware of strange people coming up to them in the street.
Teach your child to say NO. This is one instance where the child must use whatever knowledge and words he has in his power and vocabulary to get away.
Don’t make a big deal out of this but have the safety talk without frightening your children. A motto you can have in your house is: say NO to pedophiles and run!