Recognizing signs of sexual abuse by pediatricians in Florida

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Doctors/Healthcare Providers

The idea or even the slight thought that an adult in Florida would sexually abuse your child is profoundly terrifying, especially if that person is their caregiver. If you believe that something bad happened to your child, you need to take action immediately. But first, here are the signs you should look for and the steps to take if they confirm your fear.

Understanding the vulnerability

Children rarely disclose sexual abuse, especially when perpetrated by a trusted figure like a doctor. Grooming tactics, power dynamics and fear of disbelief can keep them silent. On top of that, the nature of pediatric examinations can create confusion for children. They can find it hard to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate touching. Interrogating your child may only inflict further trauma, so it’s vital to recognize the signs yourself.

Recognizing the signs

Sexual misconduct by doctors leaves physical or emotional scars. Starting with the physical, take note of your child’s complaints of genital pain, discomfort during or after examinations, or unexplained bruises or bleeding. Also, if your child expresses fear or unwillingness for examinations, listen to their concerns and investigate further. Sometimes, it might just be discomfort with a specific doctor, but other times, it can indicate a more serious issue.

Emotionally, watch out for changes in behavior and mood, such as sudden aggression or withdrawal from activities they previously enjoyed. Such traumas can also lead to nightmares or bedwetting, so be sure to note the sudden change and frequency.

Taking action

First and foremost, prioritize your child’s safety by removing them from any situation that may put them at risk. Seek medical attention to document any physical evidence and report the incident to the appropriate authorities. This can include contacting your local child protective services or law enforcement agency.

Therapy is quite crucial for the child and you, the parent. It can help them process their emotions and heal from the trauma.

As a parent, you are your child’s strongest advocate. It’s crucial to watch for signs of sexual misconduct and take action immediately if you suspect something may be wrong. Most importantly, always believe in your child and provide them with a safe and supportive environment to open up about their experiences.