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Recognizing the signs of abuse

Posted at 6:18 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-05 19:18:18-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Discussing inappropriate touching and sexual abuse with children can be tough.

Starting an open conversation is one of the first steps, according to The advocacy organization says that often-times children do not realize that abuse occurred.

Here are some signs to watch for. according to Project Harmony:

  • Exceptionally secretive
  • Advanced sexual knowledge, more than what is age appropriate
  • Extreme compliance of withdrawal
  • Overly aggressive
  • Inordinate fear of males or females
  • Seductive behavior
  • Sleep problems; nightmares
  • Crying without provocation
  • Sudden onsets of wetting or soiling in their pants or bed
  • Suicidal ideation or gestures
  • Frequently running away
  • Cruelty to animals, especially pets
  • Firesetting behaviors beyond curiosity
  • Self-mutilation; cutting, burning, scratching themselves

It's important have conversations with children about boundaries and consent. Tell children that you believe them, and that they are loved and supported.

In the state of Nebraska everyone is required to report abuse or neglect.

Nebraska: 1-800-652-1999 (CPS Hotline) OR Local Law Enforcement
Iowa: 1-800-362-2178 (DHS Hotline) OR Local Law Enforcement