Usually, one sign alone may not point to abuse; however, if many physical and/or behavior changes are seen, abuse is something to consider. These are just a few of the signs:
Many children are afraid to tell that they are being abused or do not know how to tell. They may drop hints or make odd statements as a way of telling. These statements or hints may sound like the following:
Sexual abuse is overwhelming to children, especially when someone they trust is involved. Also, children are taught from a very young age not to talk back to adults, to behave the way adults want them to, and to believe whatever adults or older children tell them. In addition, children often blame themselves for the sexual abuse. For these reasons, it is very difficult for children and adolescents to tell about sexual abuse.
If you would like access to more information on Child Sexual Abuse, please see our Resources page for more information and helpful websites.
Learning that a child may have been abused can be very upsetting. It is suggested that adults act in these ways:
Children’s Protective Services of Michigan’s Department of Human Services
301 East Louis Glick Highway
Jackson, MI 49201
(855) 444-3911 (Centralized Intake)
(517) 780-7600 (Jackson Office)
After a report of child sexual abuse is made, one of these two things will happen:
The safety of a child is the most important factor. If the offender lives in the home and refuses to leave or if the non-offending parent/caregiver is not able to protect the child, the child may be temporarily removed from the home and placed in a safe setting.
After the case is reported to Law Enforcement or Children’s Protective Services, a forensic interview will be set up at the Jackson Child Advocacy Center. This is the beginning of the investigation. Once the interview has taken place, Law Enforcement will investigate further and write a report and send it to the Prosecutor’s Office. It is up to the Prosecutor’s Office to decide whether or not criminal charges will be filed. You will be notified by the Prosecutor’s Office if charges are going to be filed. AWARE employs a crisis counselor who works with the Jackson Child Advocacy Center who will be available to assist you in understanding and coping with this investigative and legal process.