You want to trust the people that you leave your small child with, and most daycares are deserving of this trust. The vast majority of people take their caregiving responsibilities seriously and do their best to ensure your child receives the care that they need. However, some individuals may use their position of authority over your child to take advantage of them.
You may have noticed that your child is behaving strangely after they come home from daycare or has experienced a sudden personality change. This may be a sign of any parent’s worst nightmare, that your child is being sexually abused at daycare. It may be hard for your child to express to you that abuse is occurring. They may have been threatened or coerced into remaining silent even as they suffer through this trauma.
It may be up to the parents to uncover what is happening to their child at daycare, and this task can be difficult. There are some signs you can look for if you suspect that some sexual abuse is going on at your child’s daycare.
If you need a daycare sexual abuse lawyer, consider McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt to represent you and your child in a court of law against these abusers.
Signs of Sexual Abuse at a Daycare or School
It’s important to know that childhood sexual abuse does not necessarily start or stop at the touching of your child by another adult. Any sexual contact with a child is considered sexual abuse, even illicit conversations that cover sexual concepts can be considered sexual abuse, and you may need to contact a sexual abuse lawyer if you want to prosecute the daycare for traumatizing your child.
If your child is being sexually abused, you may need to be on the lookout for a variety of signs that they’ve experienced something traumatic.
Physical Warning Signs
Simple things may signify a sexual assault, like blood on your child’s bed sheets or underwear. There are many ways that blood can end up in those places, but the most visible signs of abuse will likely include bruises and swelling on your child’s body. Strangely shaped bruises or an unusual swelling around the genital area may be signs that a forced sexual encounter happened to your child.
Before you make an assumption about a bruise or injury on your child, be sure to ask them about the injury. If their answer seems forced, strange, or unconvincing, it may be worthwhile to investigate the situation further. Try and get your child to open up about what may be happening to them, but do not put too much pressure on them or make them feel like they will be in trouble if they share about their abuse. This can cause them to shut down or pull away from you further, potentially leading to more abuse.
Behavioral Warning Signs
Strange shifts in behavior or regressive behaviors are something any parent should look out for. These changes may signify that the child is experiencing abuse.
These behaviors can include nightmares and bedwetting. These can be particularly powerful signs that something is wrong, especially if your child does not generally have interrupted nights of sleep, intense dreams, or has already outgrown bedwetting.
Other behaviors may include drops in grades or a disinterest in activities they used to enjoy. Signs of depression, increased anxiety, and an unwillingness to talk may all be signs that your child has experienced something traumatic.
The most difficult part about analyzing the behavior changes in your child is noting if the changes seem natural for their developmental stage or if it seems sudden and unnatural. If you see behavioral changes in your child that cause concern, talk to them. Having an open dialogue about emotions can help your child feel supported while also allowing them the opportunity to open up to you about a traumatic experience.
What Can You Do to Help Your Child If They Are Being Abused?
If you’ve suspected and confirmed that your child is being sexually abused at their daycare facility, ensure that your child is safe before continuing. Find an alternative place for your child to be watched, or at the very least inform the daycare of your suspicions. Be sure that your child will not be left alone with their abuser.
The next step should be getting your child examined by a compassionate medical professional, who can help identify any physical trauma and help treat any physical distress they may be in. A professional child psychologist or therapist should also be contacted. These vital steps can help your child recover from their abuse faster and alleviate the long-term psychological impact sexual abuse can have on a person’s life.
You should also report any concerns you have about sexual abuse to the police as soon as you can. This can expedite the criminal investigation process. While you’re at it, consider reaching out to an attorney. An attorney can help you find justice against the institution that has victimized your child by conducting its own investigation.