This past year, more queries have been coming in than usual about situations where someone suspects that a boyfriend, husband, or other relative may be molesting a child. Because this is such an important subject, and I’m not a law enforcement professional or psychologist, I’m doing research on what steps you can take and what resources are available.
In the meantime, here is RAINN’s terrific page on what to do if you suspect child sexual abuse. RAINN also has a page listing signs of sexual abuse and a list of other national resources you can call, email, or otherwise turn to if you’re in this situation of suspecting someone.
In addition, here are links to current, top information in the field of child sexual abuse from Stop It Now: The Campaign To Prevent Child Sexual Abuse:
- FAQs about child sexual abuse
- What should I do if I know a child has been abused?
- Warning signs of sexual abuse (and other tip sheets)
- Signs that an adult may be at risk to harm a child
- Speaking to someone with a sexual behavior problem
- Finding the courage to speak up: How to prepare for the conversation
If you want to ask your questions directly, Stop It Now has an Online Help Center where you can get the information you need. The help center will walk you through a few questions about your situation — nothing that identifies you — and then lists resources you can use right away, along with a list of key action steps you can take.
Next week I’ll be meeting with someone who works with kids, sexual assault, and child safety to discuss this topic and get resources. I’ll also be contacting some of the organizations you can see in the blogroll, such as RAINN. Stay tuned — I’ll post info as I get it.