I once promised to make a thread on HOW to identify if a child has been molested or if you suspect a child is being molested...
Let’s do this🙏🏽🌸❤️
Now, family. Please note that I am only advising on the best of my knowledge where possible.
I might miss some points.
Some of you may know other forms of identification🙏🏽
I will touch on what I understand through experience working with children ❤️
Also please remember I specialize with the follow age groups 0-9 year olds.
So with much older children, I have yet to learn🙏🏽
Let’s do this!
Now in most cases, children will NEVER directly speak up that they are being molested or sexually abused from home or wherever they are most of the time.
And as an adult you might not even know. You might mistake certain behaviors as “this is such a naughty child”
Which is why I always urge adults to be cautious when disciplining children. Because sometimes a child might be trying to tell you something through their behavior and you are shutting them out.
Now this is a strange way of identifying molestation in children BUT you need to analyze or pay attention to what a child is drawing.
Now. At 6/ 7 years old, a child’s drawing is at the level of being in detail (adding hair or rounder shapes and fingers etc.) right.
If a child’s detail in drawing includes circles on the breast area, and scribbling on the genital area, DO NOT IGNORE IT!
I made an example. I’m not an artist but I want to show you what I’m talking about.
If a child pays too much detail to those body parts, you have to pay attention! This is a representation of what a child is likely being exposed to.
Check the handwriting.
Sexual abuse does cause anger in children. Watch HOW the child grips a pencil and writes. In many cases,children who are being abused show their anger through writing.
If a pencil is gripped TOO TIGHT & page is being pressed on too hard, pay attention
So we have two things. Detailed drawings and the manner in which the drawings and writings are done.
Now, moving along.
Remember, children who are molested are angry and do not have an idea how to express what is going on in their minds and at home.
This is where you may start to struggle with a child who displays stubbornness when given instructions AND sensitivity when reprimanded
It’s easy to say “you are naughty! I’m going to punish you”
But we really need to understand and communicate with children BEFORE disciplining them.
This is the part where you need to sit down with a child and ask them to explain WHY they behave the way they do.
Create a safe space FIRST for children to be able to communicate their behavior with you.
And this works in a lot of cases, they start to open up.
So it’s drawings, pencil grip and behavior. Three red flags already to a child who is possibly molested.
Now..this is a sensitive one but scent HAS to be monitored.
You are NOT allowed to touch a child BUT you can stand at reasonable distance and smell how the child smells💔
I’ve had a sad experience with this one before. Young girls coming into class with a stench that does suggest that they were molested💔
It is usually a strong urine-like stench.
Also, while on the topic of urine-like stench.
Children with extremely weak bladder and no explainable medical certificate.
PAY ATTENTION TO THAT!!!
This would mean a child just pees uncontrollably wherever they are. 💔
No clear explanation from the parent/guardian or medical certificate from a doctor.
So now we have weak bladder and stench.
Now another one. Clothing.
I’m referring to it from a school uniform point of view.
If a learner is constantly like daily, untidy, For example, skirt is not zipped and is turned inside out, shirt not tucked in, one sock down, shoe not tied.
Please do pay attention to that!
Bruises are also a BIG thing to look out for.
Now YOU CANNOT TOUCH A CHILD!!! You cannot physically take off the shirt of a child to search for bruises.
This part is tricky!
But you can ask the child to tell you if they have any “scratches or scars on their bodies”
As I said, it’s very tricky because sometimes they will feel like you are also trying to harm them.
They also happen to display difficulty sitting still due to pain in the genital area.
If a child looks uncomfortable every time they have to sit, there’s another red flag.
A child who displays knowledge of sex is a MASSIVE RED FLAG.
Yet again, I’ve seen a case like this but in a much older child. She knew so much about sex and “ukunyoba indoda”
Later, fell pregnant and was not even a teenager.
So children who are clued up in detail about sex and how it’s done must be kept an eye on and referred.
I believe there could be more signs to look out for so I only pushed to where I understood 🙏🏽
Now what can you do if you suspect a child being molested?
What steps can you take?
This is not my favourite first step because sometimes familiy defend the perpetrator!
start first by questioning the parent. See the reaction! You either will get a good one who wants to resolve the matter OR it can be the opposite.
What to do if it’s the opposite?
If you know the child’s school, report it to the teacher immediately!!!!
And I mean IMMEDIATELY!
This is because teachers keep records of child behaviors and daily activities or suspicions of children.
Teachers have paper trial of children’s patterns and if you report your suspcion, it makes the case stronger.
Your report will be kept on paper trial and locked up with all other evidence so that it is NOT tampered with🙏🏽
Then the teacher MUST make an internal referral of the child to a LSE/ inclusive education teacher.
This teacher works hand-in-hand with social workers, therapists etc.
Once the internal referal has been done then the LSE investigates further but this time with therapists and social workers and SAPS on board!
And remember, child molestation cases are prioritized in schools!
Their cases are NOT supposed to take long. It’s the same as suicide cases.
Suicide and molestation cases are usually escalated and investigated FAST within schools.
Then together the SAPS, therapist, social worker and LSE teacher run the investigation, call in the suspects until they get to the bottom of the case.
Once it has been concluded the child is moved to a safe place and progress is monitored.
The evidence is NEVER thrown away. Even if the child can change schools and go to high school, it remains there or is moved to another school discreetly.
A child’s history is very important in understanding the kind of support they will need in high school or a new school.
So my advice? If you suspect a child to be molested or even abused, address it with the school because the school knows how to get SAPS on top of cases quickly.
If you go to SAPS yourself it can and might drag!
And I hope this was insightful for you, guys❤️❤️ feel free to pop into my DM if you feel you need to ask more❤️