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This year I have been wondering what to write on CSA, I have already written about how its important to protect your sons too, I have already written my own survivor story and while giving it a thought and doing some work for CSA FB page, I came across this poster

Truly shocking and scary isn’t it? Unfortunately now that I have worked with CSA so much I know its true and that scares me even more, 75% of the kids don’t tell you I wonder why, in think the answers lies right around in us, in the way we behave, in the way we try to shoo this topic under wraps and want to turn a blind eye to it, like it never happened, it never happens and it most certainly can’t happen to us

So if a child doesn’t tell you how does a parent/care giver figure out… according to the internet and various manuals I have read, some warnings to watch out would be

  • Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
  • Nightmares, sleeping problems
  • Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
  • Becoming unusually secretive
  • Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure
  • Regressing to younger behaviours, e.g. bedwetting
  • Unaccountable fear of particular places or people
  • Outburst of anger
  • Changes in eating habits
  • New adult words for body parts and no obvious source
  • Talk of a new, older friend and unexplained money or gifts
  • Self-mutilation (cutting or burning) in adolescents
  • Physical signs, such as, unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy
  • Running away
  • Not wanting to be alone with a particular child or young person

In this I would pay particular attention to the last one, if u child says he doesnt like XYZ and doesn’t want to play with him/her . please please please listen to him. Kids are more intutive then adults are and sometimes just going with their intuitions could help a lot

Apart from watching out for warning signs, another very important thing to do in my opinion is encourage your child, build trust in them so that they come back and talk to u – Open lines of communication with them in all possible ways.

Another important thing to do will be to keep all members of the family educated, it really doesn’t help if you tell your child to be aware and alert and the granny/father comes and tells no u have to trust everyone. Kids can get confused often so make sure the message passed to them is consistent

Keep your child safe, don’t shove CSA under the carpet. Talk about it, act on it NOW c