Children and Sexual Assault
When a child has been sexually assaulted:
- If a child tells you something happened, believe him or her.
- Love, support and listen to the child.
- Observe the child's behavior and take notes.
- Treat the child as normally as possible.
- Don't try to investigate the case yourself.
- Don't interrogate or interview the child.
- Don't reward the child (with candy, movies, toys, etc.) for giving information.
- Maintain normal routines.
- Write down concerns and questions for investigators.
- Don't overreact. Your child senses your emotions and mirrors them.
- Don't talk about the case in front of the child or anywhere the child might overhear.
- Don't let your personal feelings about the perpetrator influence the child's feelings.
Signs and symptoms a child has been sexually abused:
- A sudden change in behavior.
- Not wanting to be alone with a certain person.
- Was potty trained and has begun wetting the bed.
- Frequent urinary tract infections.
- Redness, odor or drainage from genitals.
- Complaints of pain in the anus, vagina or penis.
If you suspect or the child has stated that the assault/abuse has occurred within 72 hours (3 days) please come to the Emergency Department immediately. If you suspect or your child has stated that the assault/abuse has occurred more than 72 hours (3 days) ago please call 419-526-8100, to schedule a SANE examination.