Monthly Archives: April 2015

Warning Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

I am having to face the possibility that some one special to me has had their Children interfered with. So apart from worrying and talking to the police I checked out some websites and am sharing their information here for you

Signs That a Person Is a Sexual Abuser

Often after a child abuser has been revealed, those closest to the situation will recall feeling that something was wrong, without knowing how to address it or what to say. Abusers count on this feeling of confusion and reticence to cover their tracks. Instead of remaining silent, parents should learn to question the behavior that produces these feelings. Some questionable behaviors, according to a booklet on child sexual abuse produced by the organization STOP IT NOW!©, include when an adult or older child:

• Insists on hugging, touching, kissing, tickling, wrestling with or holding a child even when the child does not want this affection.

• Is overly interested in the sexuality of a particular child or teen (for example, talks repeatedly about the child’s developing body).

• Insists on time alone with a child with no interruptions.

• Spends most of his or her spare time with children and has little interest in spending time with someone of his or her own age.

• Regularly offers to baby-sit children for free or takes children on overnight outings alone.

• Buys children expensive gifts or gives them money for no apparent reason.

• Frequently walks in on children or teens in the bathroom.

Trust your instincts. If questioning these behaviors does not produce change, or if the answers do not seem acceptable, remove your children from contact with that person.

Signs That a Child Has Been Sexually Abused

No one sign (with the exception of pregnancy or the presence of a sexually transmitted disease) is conclusive as to whether a child has been sexually abused or not. Nightmares or mood swings can be produced by other stressful events, including divorce, death of a family member, problems at school, etc. If you observe a combination of signs in your child, such as these provided by STOP IT NOW!, Mothers Against Sexual Abuse and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, start asking questions and reaching out for help.


Does your child:

• Have nightmares, sleep too little or too much?

• Have extreme fear of the dark or “monsters?”

• Have a loss of appetite or trouble eating or swallowing?

• Have sudden mood swings: rage, anger, fear or withdrawal?

• Fear a certain person or place? (A child may not want to be left alone with a babysitter, friend, relative or other child or adult.)

• Complain frequently of stomach illness with no identifiable reason?

• Engage in sexual activities with toys or other children, such as simulating sex with dolls or asking other children to behave sexually?

• Display new words for private body parts?

• Refuse to talk about a “secret” he has with an older child or adult?

• Talk about a new older friend?

• Suddenly have money?

• Cut, burn or harm himself or herself as an adolescent?

Other signs include excessive masturbation, excessive crying, wearing many layers of clothing, vaginal discharge or bleeding.

Call the STOP IT NOW! Helpline at 1-888-PREVENT for more information, or contact your child’s pediatrician for a recommendation of a therapist who deals with sexual abuse issues.

See also:

Child Sexual Abuse Warning signs

What to look for in adults and children

What is considered child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse includes touching and non-touching activity. Some examples of touching activity include:

  • touching a child’s genitals or private parts for sexual pleasure
  • making a child touch someone else’s genitals, play sexual games or have sex putting objects or body parts (like fingers, tongue or penis) inside the vagina, in the mouth or in the anus of a child for sexual pleasure

Some examples of non-touching activity include:

  • showing pornography to a child
  • deliberately exposing an adult’s genitals to a child
  • photographing a child in sexual poses
  • encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts
  • inappropriately watching a child undress or use the bathroom
As well as the activities described above, there is also the serious and growing problem of people making and downloading sexual images of children on the Internet. To view child abuse images is to participate in the abuse of a child. Those who do so may also be abusing children they know. People who look at this material need help to prevent their behaviour from becoming even more serious.

Warning signs in children and adolescents of possible child sexual abuse

Children often show us rather than tell us that something is upsetting them. There may be many reasons for changes in their behaviour, but if we notice a combination of worrying signs it may be time to call for help or advice.

What to watch out for in children:

  • 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-harm (cutting, burning or other harmful activities)
  • 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

Any one sign doesn’t mean that a child was or is being sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you should begin to ask questions and consider seeking help. Keep in mind that some of these signs can emerge at other times of stress such as:

  • During a divorce
  • Death of a family member or pet
  • Problems at school or with friends
  • Other anxiety-inducing or traumatic events

Physical warning signs

Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare, however, if you see these signs, take your child to a doctor. Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
  • Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

Signs that an adult may be using their relationship with a child for sexual reasons

The signs that an adult is using their relationship with a child for sexual reasons may not be obvious. We may feel uncomfortable about the way they play with the child, or seem always to be favouring them and creating reasons for them to be alone. There may be cause for concern about the behaviour of an adult or young person if they:

  • Refuse to allow a child sufficient privacy or to make their own decisions on personal matters.
  • Insist on physical affection such as kissing, hugging or wrestling even when the child clearly does not want it.
  • Are overly interested in the sexual development of a child or teenager.
  • Insist on time alone with a child with no interruptions.
  • Spend most of their spare time with children and have little interest in spending time with people their own age.
  • Regularly offer to baby-sit children for free or take children on overnight outings alone.
  • Buy children expensive gifts or give them money for no apparent reason.
  • Frequently walk in on children/teenagers in the bathroom.
  • Treat a particular child as a favourite, making them feel ‘special’ compared with others in the family.
  • Pick on a particular child.

Child abuse among children and young people

Age appropriate sexual behaviour

We all know that children pass through different stages of development as they grow, and that their awareness and curiosity about sexual matters change as they pass from infancy into childhood and then through puberty to adolescence. Each child is an individual and will develop in his or her own way. However, there is a generally accepted range of behaviours linked to a child’s age and developmental stage. Sometimes these will involve some exploration with other children of a similar age. It can be difficult to tell the difference between age appropriate sexual exploration and warning signs of harmful behaviour. Occasionally we may need to explain to children why we would prefer them not to continue with a particular behaviour.

This is a chance to talk with them about keeping themselves and others safe and to let them know that you are someone who will listen. Disabled children may develop at different rates, depending on the nature of their disability, and they can be more vulnerable to abuse. Children with learning disabilities, for example, may behave sexually in ways that are out of step with their age. Particular care may be needed in educating such children to understand their sexual development and to ensure that they can communicate effectively about any worries they have.

It is important to recognise that while people from different backgrounds have different expectations about what is acceptable behaviour in children, sexual abuse happens across all races and cultures. Remember that each child develops at his or her own pace and not every child will show the behaviours described below. If you have any worries or questions about a child you know, talk to someone about it. Your health visitor, GP or child’s teacher may be able to help, or you could ring the Stop it Now! Helpline on 0808 1000 900.

Pre-school children (0-5) years commonly:

  • Use childish ‘sexual’ language to talk about body parts
  • Ask how babies are made and where they come from
  • Touch or rub their own genitals
  • Show and look at private parts

They rarely:

  • Discuss sexual acts or use sexually explicit language
  • Have physical sexual contact with other children
  • Show adult-like sexual behaviour or knowledge  

School-age children (6-12 years) commonly:

  • Ask questions about menstruation, pregnancy and other sexual behaviour
  • Experiment with other children, often during games, kissing, touching, showing and role playing e.g. mums and dads or doctors and nurses
  • Masturbate in private

They rarely:

  • Masturbate in public
  • Show adult like sexual behaviour or knowledge


  • Ask questions about relationships and sexual behaviour
  • Use sexual language and talk between themselves about sexual acts
  • Masturbate in private
  • Experiment sexually with adolescents of similar age

NB. About one-third of adolescents have sexual intercourse before the age of 16.

They rarely:

  • Masturbate in public
  • Have sexual contact with much younger children or adults 

Warning signs of sexually harmful behaviour

One of the hardest things for parents to discover is that their child may have sexually harmed or abused another child. In this situation, denial, shock and anger are normal reactions. If it is not responded to quickly and sensitively, the effect on the whole family can be devastating. For this reason it is vital to contact someone for advice about what to do as soon as you suspect that something is wrong. The positive message is that early help for the child or young person and their family can make a real difference. Evidence suggests that the earlier children can get help, the more chance there is of preventing them moving on to more serious behaviour. It is important to be alert to the early warning signs that something is going wrong. If you are in this situation, remember that you are not alone. Many other parents have been through similar experiences, and, as a result, the child and family found the help they needed are were able to rebuild their lives. The first step is to decide that it would be helpful to talk it over with someone else. The Stop it Now! Helpline is available for this support on 0808 1000 900.

Do you know a child or adolescent who:

  • Seeks out the company of younger children and spends an unusual amount of time in their company?
  • Takes younger children to ‘secret’ places or hideaways or plays ‘special’ games with them (e.g. doctor and patient, removing clothing etc.) especially games unusual to their age?
  • Insists on hugging or kissing a child when the child does not want to?
  • Tells you they do not want to be alone with a child or becomes anxious when a particular child comes to visit?
  • Frequently uses aggressive or sexual language about adults or children?
  • Shows sexual material to younger children?
  • Makes sexually abusive telephone calls?
  • Shares alcohol or drugs with younger children or teens?
  • Views child pornography on the internet or elsewhere?
  • Exposes his or her genitals to younger children?
  • Forces sex on another adolescent or child?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should talk to the child or young person and seek advice.

What you can do if you see warning signs

Create a family safety plan. Don’t wait for ‘proof’ of child sexual abuse. Visit our family safety plan pages for information and advice on how the things to think about.

If you are concerned about the sexualized behaviours in a parent, cousin, sibling, friend, or neighbour, you should consider contacting the police or children’s services in your area, they can take action if appropriate. If you choose not to do that, care enough to talk to the person whose behaviour is worrying you. At any point you can call the Stop it Now! Helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice and support.

Make sure everyone knows that it’s OK to talk with you about what may have already happened – that you love them and will help them. For additional resources or for advice on developing your Family Safety Plan, call our Helpline on 0808 1000 900.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about sexual abuse, abusers and protecting children – watch our learning programme here.


What to do before Chemotherapy

I posted this information previously when I was blogging about going through Chemo and the illness, but closed it down and started again.

So today I am going to share with you some tips for before you go through Chemotherapy or any other kind of therapy.

Stock up on Sorbolene Cream, this is good for washing with and moisturising your body, as the chemicals will affect you and some body washes and soaps are too harsh.


Stock up on QV, Baby wash or any other low and non irritant wash, ask the chemist for some ideas of what is available and what is affordable. Oatmeal is good and if you have a bath you can have an oatmeal bath to help soothe the skin.



Baby wipes, or any kind or wipes. If you are toxic from the chemicals this is an easy way to wipe yourself while you are out and you can dispose of them easily without harming others. Wipes are also good for keeping in your toilet. Some people cannot tolerate toilet paper this is much better. Some people are so sick and weak that wipes make it much easier to go to the toilet.  If you use them you have to make sure that every now and then you use active enzymes in your toilet to help break it down. Wipes are like triple ply toilet paper it takes longer for it to dissolve in the drain.



Get some of the flat water bottles to put in your shower and put your body wash in one and with moisturiser in the shower, this makes it easier to use and comes in handy if you are weak and unable to do some things yourself. They hang easily and can be refilled when you need.

This flat water bottle


Ensure you have a lot of soft clothing and underwear, Chemo can make your skin bruise. Some women have problems with their Bra’s causing them problems. Soft easy clothing to get in and out of are great. Less drama to get dressed or changed.

Stock up on Bleach and Vinegar and Bicarb, again because of the chemicals and because your skin might rash easily, use non irritating soaps for washing up the dishes and the clothes. Often you have to wash your own clothes separately because of the chemicals coming out of your system. So having a ready supply of cleaning aids makes life easier, and cheaper if you buy before hand.

The reason for giving these tips is that I learnt the hard way, no one told me of the problems that can arise from Chemo on simple things. It’s not implied or even mentioned until after you are undergoing treatment. This is a time that many of us are short of money and have too many bills to pay so just simply being aware and having some things ready and waiting can ease life a little bit.

If you have any tips that you would like to share, just inbox me and I will post them.

Thank you