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According to the U.S. Dept of Justice, women commit 2% of total sexual assaults committed by violent offenders.


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"Our response to a threatening situation should be based on an assessment of our needs, external circumstances, perceived threat and our relationship with the other person."


Did you know that children from violent homes often display a variety of behavioral characteristics as a result of living in an unpredictable environment? Many of these characteristics are similar to those exhibited by children who have been abused in other ways.

Recent studies show that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused before they reach the age of 18 years.

Characteristics of Children Suffering from Sexual Abuse

Behavioral Indicators:

  • Eating disturbances
  • Excessive fear or phobias of certain objects, people, places, or activities
  • Withdrawal, fantasy, or unusual acting out
  • Sexually provocative behavior, i.e., sexually acting out, showing unusual interest in sexual matters
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Fear of restrooms, showers, or baths (common locations of abuse)
  • Abrupt personality changes, extreme mood swings, fearfulness, or excessive crying
  • Anxieties, especially at naptime
  • Uncharacteristic aggression or rebelliousness

Physical Indicators:

  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Pain or itching in the genital area
  • Torn, stained, or bloody under-clothing
  • Frequent urinary infection
  • Genital discharge
  • Psychosomatic symptoms (frequent headaches or stomach aches)

Responding to Disclosure 

If your child tells you that someone has touched him or her in a way that is hurtful or in a way that made him or her feel uncomfortable:

  • Remain calm.
  • Reassure your child by saying,
    • I’m glad you told me. You did the right thing. You are very brave, and I’m so proud of your courage.
    • It’s not your fault. I’m very sorry this happened to you.
    • I’m always here for you. You are safe now.
  • Immediately seek help for your child and yourself. Possible resources include:
  • Law enforcement personnel
  • Child Protective Services
  • Supportive friends and relatives
  • Professional counselors