With child sexual abuse cases on the rise around the world, it is good for us as parents to be on the lookout for any clues that may indicate that a child is being sexually abused, so that we can act quickly to stop the situation.
It is not only good, however, to know the characteristics that can alert us to this crime. In many cases, even if a minor has not been a victim of sexual abuse at any time, there are certain factors that increase the risk that they may suffer an aggression of this type.
Next, we mention 6 risk factors that increase the chances of a child suffering from sexual abuse:
Unbalanced family environment
A healthy family environment and relationship is a decisive factor that influences directly a child’s personality. Generally, homes with an environment of constant argument, quarrels and even cases of physical or sexual abuse between parents increase the risk of a child suffering from sexual abuse.
This type of unstable family environment often causes minors to have negative feelings such as depression, insecurity or stress, even causing them to distrust their parents.
All these feelings make them easy targets for abusers and perverse people who can take advantage of their vulnerable emotional condition to sexually abuse them.
When a minor has poor self-esteem as a result of family abuse, lack of attention and affection, or even emotional problems with their parents, they may also be the victim of a case of child sexual abuse.
To attract their victims, abusers often use all kinds of persuasion strategies, using gifts or promising special attention to make them feel better. A minor with poor self-esteem is much more vulnerable to these approaches and is therefore at greater risk of being a victim of sexual abuse.
From a very young age, it is important to create a relationship of trust between parents and children, so that they can come to you when they have a problem or there is something that makes them feel in danger.
Most perpetrators, following the sexual abuse act, usually threaten the children to keep them quiet about what happened. If a child does not have enough trust in their parents, it will be much more difficult for them to talk about the abuse, for fear of being judged or reprimanded.
Children with disabilities
Children with disabilities are up to 3 times more likely to be sexually abused. This is because, depending on the type of disability, a disabled child often feels a greater need for attention and acceptance from others, or may even have difficulty running away, due to physical limitations.
An abuser can take advantage of the reduced ability the child has to defend themselves by subjecting them to sexual acts against their will.
Previous experiences of sexual abuse
Almost all children who have suffered an experience of sexual abuse before, and did not receive the necessary psychological care to address the emotional wounds that resulted from the event, often develop depression and deception in such a way they even think that their body is worthless.
Therefore, they are much more vulnerable to the actions of abusers, who can take advantage of this emotional condition to sexually abuse them.
Failure to supervise the use of the Internet
Nowadays, most of the children under 10 spend a lot of time on the Internet, where they can be in contact with any kind of person around the world and suffer abuse if they are not properly supervised.
There have been several cases of virtual sexual abuse recorded recently, due to the fact that many of the abusers usually take advantage of the “anonymity” that the Internet can provide, in order to incite and threaten minors to record themselves or take pictures of sexual content.
Let’s work together against child sexual abuse
To prevent your children from becoming one more statistic in the thousands and thousands of cases of child sexual abuse in the world, it is important to pay attention to each of the risk factors mentioned above, so you can guarantee the safety of your child and prevent them from suffering sexual abuse in any environment.
Do you have any experience you would like to share? In the #YoDigoNoMas movement we can listen to you and help you find the ideal solution to heal the emotional wounds of abuse. Join our movement and let’s fight together against child sexual abuse.