Child Sexual Abuse: A Case Study

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INITIAL REPLY 4.1
Children that have been exposed to sexually inappropriate material through witnessing, experiencing, or as a consequence of sexual exploitation may show behavioral signs. Some of the more common signs may include depression, anxiety, no desire to eat, and a likely withdrawal from normal everyday activities (U.S Department of Health and Services Child Abuse and Neglect, n.d). They may even show a sense of lethargy during the day. Other children may show a desire to be extremely compliant. These children may also begin to abuse drugs and/or alcohol as a means to forget and self-medicate (U.S Department of Health and Services Child Abuse and Neglect, n.d). Children may engage in self- mutilation and may show triggers of fear
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The parent may have an emotional bond to the perpetrator or may need their services; as in child care (Crossen-Tower, 2014). Parents also may not see the risk of sexual abuse because they have never experienced it themselves (Crossen-Tower, 2014). The parent’s response can help or hinder the progress of treatment. The most helpful response is to supportive and acknowledge the child’s experience (Helpful and Harmful Reactions to Disclosure of Sexual Abuse, 2011). When parents do not believe their children and express this, the child gains a stronger sense of the wrongness of the situation and may internalize the guilt (Helpful and Harmful Reactions to Disclosure of Sexual Abuse,2011). The child may then take back the accusations. It is also important that the parent surround the child with others who believe and are supportive of the child’s accusation (Helpful and Harmful Reactions to Disclosure of Sexual Abuse, 2011). If they are around people who bring up the situation and create negativity about the child’s disclosure, the child is again at greater risk of recanting their claim. It is important for parents to talk calmly to their children in regards to the abuse (Helpful and Harmful Reactions to Disclosure of Sexual Abuse, 2011). This allows the child to feel safe and begin to trust. If the parent is angry and shows fearful reactions, the child will also continue to feel unsafe and fearful. This can put a great deal of stress on the child and how they are expected to respond to the abuse. The child may feel that they are to blame (Helpful and Harmful Reactions to Disclosure of Sexual Abuse, 2011). Parents should also allow the child to feel. Minimizing the situation doesn’t create a sense of empathy or support. Parents should try to continue on as normal and resist abrupt changes that are not necessary for safety (Helpful and Harmful Reactions to Disclosure of Sexual Abuse,

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