Often children are not able to tell an adult about the abuse they may be encountering, so it’s our job as concerned parents, caregivers, and community members to learn the signs of abuse. A child’s behaviors or physical symptoms could indicate whether a child has experienced sexual abuse. Learn more about Warning Signs.
Though there are no universal signs of an abuser (abusers cut across all demographics), we do know based on research that 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser. That means abusers can be family members, friends, neighbors, clergy, teachers, and more.
Feel free to talk openly to the child and the people in the child’s life about child protection policies and procedures. This includes asking detailed questions about where the child is going to be and who will be with them. More than 80% of child abuse cases occur in one-on-one isolated situations, so choose group situations when possible, and be direct with other adults and explain that you and the child are educated on child sexual abuse.