Most harrowing in many ways than any other abuse case are sexual child abuse cases.
Unfortunately, due to the shame and stigma attached to being a victim of such abuse – or out of fear or recrimination from the abuser – many are frequently scared to say anything. Recent study results show that approximately three-quarters of the children who were the victim of child sexual abuse did not tell anyone about the abuse at the time. About a quarter told someone later, and around a third still had not told anyone by early adulthood.
As reporting sexual child abuse can be highly traumatic for the child, and as identification can be difficult, it is possible that the actual incidence of sexual abuse is higher that statistics would suggest.
How are Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Investigated?
Where a child makes an allegation of sexual abuse, it is very important that these allegations are not simply dismissed. A child is very unlikely to make a direct accusation of abuse due to the traumatic nature of the incident. It is more usual for initial allegations to be indirect as the child tests the professional’s response.
There may be no physical indicators of sexual abuse and it is only through observation of emotional and behavioural indicators that it may become evident.
“I was unsure to
begin with whether
or not I should get
legal advice from a
solicitor; but after
with Brendan I feel
that I have definitely
done the right thing.
Brendan has given
me exactly the
advice I needed.”Our client, Ms D.
Behavioural indicators which may show that child sexual abuse has occurred include:
- Inappropriate sexualised conduct;
- Sexually explicit behaviour, play or conversation, inappropriate to the child’s age;
- Contact or non-contact sexually harmful behaviour;
- Continual and inappropriate or excessive masturbation;
- Self-harm, self mutilation and suicide attempts;
- Involvement in sexual exploitation or indiscriminate choice of sexual partners;
- An anxious unwillingness to remove clothes even where conditions would dictate it not to be inappropriate e.g. for sports events.
There are some physical indicators which would suggest that child sexual abuse has occurred:
- Pain or itching of genital area;
- Blood on underclothes;
- Pregnancy in a child;
- Physical symptoms such as injuries to the genital or anal area, bruising to buttocks, abdomen and thighs, sexually transmitted disease, presence of semen on vagina, anus, external genitalia or clothing.
Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.
Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.
If you are fighting social services for your child and need a Care Proceedings Solicitor to help you, contact Brendan Fleming today.