We are living in an era when media is over-sexualized. Young children, especially girls, often want to wear makeup and imitate pop stars who are underdressed and overexposed. Also, the internet makes viewing sexual images that much easier. Boys and girls, alike, are encountering sexuality without fully grasping what they have seen.
Parents may not know about their child’s exposure to sexual images. Therefore, they do not intervene and discuss sexuality with their children. For example, a young child may see a sexual image on an older, neighboring child’s computer. The child does not understand what he or she has seen and never says anything to the parent.
The reality is that many children are encountering sexual images without understanding what appropriate sexual behavior is. Children and teens with impulse control issues may be at risk of re-enacting sexual images they have seen. Hence, why children and teens may sexually abuse younger children. In addition, children who are victims of sexual abuse often go on to abuse other children
One of the key signs that a child may exhibit proclivities to sexually abuse other children is discussion of sexual behavior and/or knowledge of the function of private parts. They may touch other children inappropriately and/or discuss sexual acts. Therefore, parents, child care providers, educators, etc., must pay attention to such behavior and act appropriately. However, the problem is that it is easier to ignore such initial warning signs, due in large part to the desire to avoid a discussion about appropriate sexual behavior and touching. In other words, teachers, educators, child care providers, and even parents often avoid discussing sexuality with young children. Most of the time, it is because of a lack of knowledge of what to say to a young child. Click here for tips to talk to kids about sexuality.
Schools & Day Care Centers Can Prevent Child on Child Sexual Abuse
In school and day care settings, children who persistently engage in or otherwise discuss inappropriate sexual behavior should be identified and watched closely. At a minimum, the child’s parents should be notified so that they can seek appropriate counseling. In some cases, children who exhibit such behavior are often victims of sexual abuse themselves, and accordingly, Child Protective Services may need to be contacted. In situations when a school or day care employee suspects that a child has been sexually abused, state law may require filing a report with the appropriate authorities. Click here to read about Pennsylvania’s child sex abuse mandatory reporting statute.
Failure to act reasonably to prevent child sex abuse can subject a school or day care facility to liability. For instance, if a day care employee witnesses a child sexually abuse another, yet fails to take appropriate action, the day care center may be liable if the abuse continues to occur.
- Sex Abuse in Schools in New Jersey – Reporting Sex Abuse
- Can a school in New Jersey be liable for failing to report sex abuse of a student?
- Civil Liability – People Who Fail to Report Child Sex Abuse
Get a Free Consultation with Brian Kent, Former Sex Crimes Unit Prosecutor and Now Civil Sex Abuse Lawyer 800.220.7600
Sex abuse victims deserve justice, and former prosecutor, Brian Kent, fights tirelessly on behalf of his clients. For more information, contact Brian Kent. Brian offers free consultations to victims of child sex abuse and child molestation, especially in a school situation. 800.220.7600
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.