What do you do if you suspect your spouse of sexually abusing your child? For some, the answer is obvious, while others choose to live in denial. Much may depend on where your suspicions are coming from. Regardless of where the suspicions are coming from, do not take them lightly.
Childhood sexual abuse touches all socio-economic classes, and all ethnic groups. It doesn’t matter what neighborhood you live in or how much money you make. It doesn’t matter that you both attend church on a regular basis. If you suspect your spouse is sexually abusing your child, for whatever reason…pay attention to your instincts.
Here are some signs to look out for if you believe your child is being sexually abused by your spouse:
-Fear of being alone with your spouse.
-Acting out sexually. Children who are being sexually abused will often act out sexually. They may chronically masturbate, touch other grown-ups or children inappropriately, draw pictures that show sex organs, use sexual language not common to that particular age group.
-Lower grades at school
-Low self esteem
-Not wanting to be around a lot of people
If you notice any of these signs, pay attention. The more of them you notice, the more likelihood there is that your child has been sexually abused.
Chances are if you confront your spouse, your spouse will deny your allegations. The best thing to do is do get your child to a safe place right away. Either remove yourself and your child from the home or have your spouse leave until a resolution, if possible, is reached. Never stay in a situation that puts your child at potential risk. If you do this, you are contributing to the abuse of your child. If this means going to a shelter, then go.
Contact your local health department or have your child seen by a pediatrician to check for physical signs of sexual abuse. It may be necessary, depending on the circumstances, to report your spouse to the police if you have actual evidence that a crime has been committed. If, it is determined that your child has been sexually abused, it will be important for your child to get therapy by someone who specializes in childhood sexual abuse.