In a recent article, Lori S. Kornblum, an adjunct faculty member at Marquette University Law School focusing on child abuse and the law and Daniel Pollack a professor at the school of social work at Yeshiv University in New York write about signs that indicate that a child might be abused and how to deal with it.
If a child is engaging in abnormal sexual play such as humping another child or putting a doll next to the genital area of another child it might be a sign that the child is being abused. If this happens it is important not to react emotionally to the child’s behavior as he or she might just shut down and you might never be able to find out about the abuse. Try to develop a relationship with the child and gain his or her trust. When the child feels comfortable enough, try to ask questions leading to the child disclosing abuse such as “can you tell me more about the game you are playing right now?”. Don’t judge and just ask open ended questions. If the child discloses abuse, tell him or her that you need to tell some other people so they can help. Make sure the child is safe. Give a call to CPS or law enforcement depending on the cases. Sometimes a call to the police might be justified for example if the child disclosed that the boyfriend of the mother abuses him or her and that the mother is about to pick him or her up.
Parents or guardians should not be informed about the disclosure if you suspect they are the perpetrator or they might tip off the perpetrator.
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