Sexually Abused Children Show Signs, Edmond Psychologist Says

Thursday, November 10th 2011, 4:43 pm
By: News 9

Parents do not want to think it can happen to their child, but the Penn State University sexual abuse scandal, is a reminder it can happen anywhere at anytime.

Edmond Psychologist Stewart Beasley said children are often sexually abused by someone close to them. Such as the case with former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. His victims were involved in the charity he organized for at risk children.

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Children do not come out immediately and say they have been abused. However, a child can show signs of abuse. Beasley said a child can become quiet, withdrawn, and moody. He said the beginning signs can be mistaken for normal developmental stages. He also advises parents and caretakers to watch a child's drawing, they can offer clues.

Beasley said sexual abuse often occurs more than once, the longer it goes on, the more disturbing the signs can be.

"It's only after a while some kids start acting out sexually," he said. "They simulate sexual acts or talk more about sex or are intrigued by body parts of parents or friends."

If a parent or caretaker suspects sexual abuse, seek guidance from a pediatrician or counselor. Beasley said parents are their child's protector. The worst thing they can do is ignore unusual behavior and think it couldn't happen to them.

If you see abuse happen, or your child says an adult has touched them or behaved inappropriately, report it to the proper authorities.