If Your Child has been Sexually Abused
Taking Care of Your Child
After Sexual Assault

A Child's Sexual Behavior-
When Should You be Concerned?

Who Are Sexual Offenders?
Information for Parents
Date Rape/ Acquaintance Rape

Taking Care of Your Child After Sexual Assault

Important Facts To Know About Child Sexual Abuse

  • Any kind of sexual contact between an adult and a child is abuse and is a crime; sexual contact by a teenager that is forced or with a younger child is also abuse and a crime.
  • Children typically know their offenders.
  • Children are usually not violently attacked or physically hurt during a sexual assault, but still may feel afraid of being hurt.
  • Not all children are able to tell parents right away about the abuse; they are often worried about what will happen if they tell.

Children react in different ways after sexual abuse– some children have serious emotional reactions and others only minor. The love and support of family is the most important factor in a child’s recovery.

Getting Help

Sexual abuse affects both the child and the family. We offer the following services:

  • Guidance for after a child discloses abuse
  • Legal information and referral
  • Coordination with police and Child Protective Service (CPS)
  • Medical examinations
  • Crisis intervention: meeting with a nurse or psychologist to discuss immediate concerns
  • Mental Health Services for victims and their families
    Support and therapeutic Groups

Medical Care for Children

A medical examination is recommended when the sexual abuse involved physical contact. Sometimes your child’s regular doctor can do this exam, but often it is best to have a specialized exam. This exam includes a complete physical exam including the genital and anal areas, using the latest technologies. This exam is not painful. The examiner will explain the process before and during the examination.

Most children have normal exams after sexual abuse. A normal exam does not mean that the child was not abused. Most children and families find the exam helpful in addressing their medical concerns.

Your child may experience the following:

  • Memories, nightmares, or fears about the abuse.
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns.
  • Avoidance of activities or particular situations.
  • Withdrawal or depression.
  • Irritability, crankiness, or short-tempered behavior.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Acting out sexually.

Your child may experience some of these problems or none at all. Pay attention to unusual behavior or changes in behavior. Seek help if needed.