Although no one wishes sexual abuse on themselves, it’s, unfortunately, more common than we may want to think. Studies show that as many as 1 in 10 people will experience sexual abuse in their lifetime.
Going through a trauma such as sexual abuse can completely alter a person and create permanent damage. Unfortunately, sometimes the victim is too scared to seek help. They may suffer in silence, afraid to tell anyone of their dark secret.
If you suspect that someone you might know may be a victim of abuse, then look out for these signs and reach out for help.
Changes In Behavior
Someone who has recently suffered sexual abuse may start exhibiting behaviors which are out of the ordinary. It can range from being overly aggressive to suddenly withdrawn and quiet.
In cases where the victim is a child, they may start having trouble getting to sleep or even wetting the bed. While this isn’t always a sure sign of abuse, it’s something you should see as a potential red flag.
Avoiding Their Abuser
The abused will often start avoiding or acting afraid of the person who has abused them. If there’s someone specific who you may suspect is the abuser, observe their interactions together.
If their behavior changes as soon as they’re in the presence of the suspected, then you should see this is a strong indication that your suspicions may be accurate.
Sexually Explicit Behavior
In some cases, sexual abuse victims may use sexually explicit language or engage in sexually forward behavior. If someone who was once reserved has suddenly started behaving more suggestively, it may be an indication of something that has happened.
In some cases, you may see physical signs of abuse. Perhaps bruises or soreness in places where they may have been abused.
If the suspected victim is a child, it may take form in a rash or soreness in the genital area.
Difficulty Performing Job
An abused person may be so distracted by their trauma that they find it difficult to concentrate. In a work environment, they may become less productive than usual and have a diminished performance.
They May Give Clues
In some cases where the victim is feeling desperate but aren’t quite ready to talk about it, they may drop hints and clues eluding to what’s happening.
Although it’s a slippery slope if you’re unsure about whether you’re picking up on the signs, it’s better to be aware than ignore the signs.
If you suspect someone is a victim of abuse the first step may be to talk to a friend or family member close to them and ask them their thoughts. If you determine that it is a case of abuse, then you will want to report it to the authorities.