Child Sexual Abuse
What You Should Know
- Children are most commonly abused by someone they know and trust.
- Victims of sexual assault do not cause the abuse and are never to blame. The offender is responsible, not the victim or non-offending family member.
Young children who are sexually abused may show a combination of several symptoms:
- Personality change or discomfort around someone trusted
- Unusual interest in own or other's genitals
- Behavior problems
- Mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Changes in toilet behavior, eating or sleeping habits,
- Advanced knowledge of sex acts
Child Abuse is a crime. If you know or suspect that a child is being abused, it is important to make a report to both assist the victim and protect other children. To made a report of child abuse, call Statewide Central Intake (SCT) at 841-6100. You can also call the Albuquerque Police Department non-emergency number at 242-COPS or the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department at 798-7000.
What You Can Do As a Parent
- Assure your child that you believe what she or he told you, and that you are glad that she or he is able to talk about it.
- Be careful NEVER to give the impression that you are blaming your child for what has happened.
- It is crucial that you emphasize that what you child did, or felt was not his or her fault. Provide an extra sense of physical security by staying close to your child immediately after she or he discloses.
- Allow your child to express any positive and negative feelings.
- Avoid "why" questions as they give an impression of blame.
- Try to keep things as normal as possible.
For more information or to consult with a professional who is trained and experienced with child sexual abuse you may call All Faith's Receiving Home at 271-0329.