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when a child is sexually molested by an older child

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am posting on behalf of a friend, and I don't want to give too much info. Basically, I want to know the best way to handle the situation. The little girl is in preschool. The offending child is pre-adolescent neighbor girl. Who should be called? Is it best to try to deal personally with the older girl's family first, before making any sort of report? I can't imagine what might be happening to her to make her do this.

And what should be done for the preschooler? The pediatrician was called, and over the phone he recommended an immediate psych eval. at the children's hospital. Seems like an overwhelming prospect for a little one, and they are uninsured, so I'm not convinced they would be treated well.

Is there a book anyone can suggest for the parents of the little one that may help them know how to talk to her about it? How to be sensitive to her needs right now?
post #2 of 4
Is there not a social service agancy in their area where your friend's could receive free help? Perhaps a sexual assault support services office? My opinion is that if this older child did this, she will do it again with someone else. Sexual abuse needs to be addressed and both parties involved helped. There are lifelong psychological scars from it.

Your friends are in my thoughts.
post #3 of 4
Hi Mama Duck,

There are a number of things at play in this situation, and I think they each need to be addressesd individually and together.

First, your friends and their child should seek some support services and probably a psych assessment for their child. There should be agencies in your community (often grant funded) who specifically address abuse issues. Services should be made available either pro bono or on a sliding scale. Play therapy is particularly beneficial in helping young children process this kind of violation. The parents may need some counseling, too. Aso, we use book titled "My Very Own Book About Me." to address these issues with girls, but I don't know if it is really appropriate for a pre schooler. Typically ist is used w/ elemetary aged children - let me know if you need a copy sent. PM me.

The child who did the molesting is probably experiencing some type of abuse herself. As a social worker who interned clinically with sexually abused girls, I can assure you that most of those who acted out on another younger, smaller child had been abused themselves. That girl is going to probably need some help herself. Now, families often are in a whole lot of denial about what may be going on, so how do you approach that...well, when your friends take their child in to see someone (be it a pediatrician, social worker, therapist, etc) that professional will more than likely call the abuse registry. Which will then need to investigate the case. This is how the system works here and I am asuming it works similarly across the Country.

Okay, so, your friends also need to be prepared for having social service entities (and perhaps some legal ones) involved in their lives. Not an easy thing to swallow, but probably necessary to protect your friend's child and alsoto get help for the offending child.

I am so sorry. This is a painful situation to be involved in, but it is common and there is a lot of support out there!

xo,
Jessie
post #4 of 4

admitting some personal things here

I was molested by a neighbor when I was 7. She was a girl 14 or so. I didnt tell anyone. (years later found out she was molested by her brother) My parents still dont know to this day. Then around the same age my mom's friends daughter a year older molested me when she slept over our house. I woke up and she was touching me. Never told my folks that one either.
It definitely affected me mentally & sexually. I was "playing" with boys at the very young age of 9. Not really sex but pretty darn close. My behavior continued right up through high school. It shattered my innocence I guess. It was so long ago though.
Since I wasnt helped I dont know what to write for advice. I think the little girl needs some type of emotional help. Especially that young. Kids only remember the bad things at that age and she might carry that with her through her life subconsciously.
Thats so sad. This world is scary.
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