Sexual Abuse Warning Signs

Counselors at the Child Advocacy Center see nearly four hundred cases of sexual abuse a year.
They also say it only takes a predator giving one compliment to lead to a lifetime of damage.
The child advocacy center’s Executive Director Sherryl Walker says there are always subtle signs when a child is being sexually abused.

"If they have a good relationship with a Granddaddy or an Uncle and if they don't want to see that granddaddy or uncle anymore, explore that, find out why. Ask them what happens when you go visit granddaddy, or what kind of games do ya'll play?," says Walker.

Walker says when teenagers are abused the warning signs are slightly different.

"I think one rule of thumb is no adult should be closer to your child than you are, if it's a teacher, a Sunday school teacher, a coach that adult shows more interest in that child than what's normal then you better be checking into that," Walker said.

Here at the child advocacy center there are thousands of brochures to help parents deal with sexual abuse, all they have to do is pick up their phone.

You can call us we have a lot of brochures and things about how to report child abuse.
How to tell if your child is being abused," says Walker.

Walker says often the predator is in the home and that parents should be more cautious about who they allow in.

"We see that happening where parents choose to stay with the other person rather than taking a stand for their child," Walker said.

Walker told me that for the first few months of this year the Wiregrass has seen nearly two hundred cases of sexual abuse.
They want that number to drop but say they need parents to stay alert.

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