Sex abuse Awareness - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-19-2014, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Sex abuse Awareness

So. . .
About a year ago, my toddler had a strange rash on the top area of his bum. It was very isolated with no satellite spotting and it was right at the top of his butt crack. I thought it was very unusual and the typical over the counter cream wasn't helping. So I decided to bring him into the doctors for something stronger.

When I got there, the woman I saw wasn't my normal person and she immediately took this approach that it could be a sign of sexual abuse. My original intention was to find out what it was and how to make it better but instead I got these suspicious sounding questions like, "Well what do you think it is?" and "How often are you leaving him with people you don't trust?"

I was appalled by this approach only because I work in the mental health field where there have been extreme cases of sexual abuse and we never accused parents outright before gathering information. When I asked her what she thought it could be, she shrugged her shoulders and said "I don't know but at this point I wouldn't trust anyone around him." She asked me who watched him, which typically are my in-laws when my husband and I are at work but I completely trust them and believe that they are healthy people. I explained this to her and she shook her head in that way that she wasn't really listening and had made up her mind saying, "Well I wouldn't trust them either."

I was dumb struck. I kept looking at my poor child just wanting pain relief and not understanding why mommy was upset. The doctor said she would consult with a fellow pediatrician about the situation but with the "evidence at hand" she felt liable to make a report do child services. At this point, she writes me a prescription but also states taht I should be taking pictures of the rash just in case I need to prove something in court. Then she sends me on my way.

I sit in the car crying and call my husband who thinks that this is outlandish. Not to mention, what a stupid approach for the doctor because in the event that he was being abused and I didn't know it, I would be inadvertently going back and warning abuser that someone was on to them and they might stop momentarily to ease suspicion.

What was also strange was that the doctor focused primarily on his grandparents. She said, "It's common for a grandfather to abuse his grandchild despite the age difference." I felt so scared I had to pull over in the car and wonder if I should even go home. I questioned who I could trust, including my husband, and felt utterly alone.

Needless to say, once I got home, I received a phone call from the doctor who was able to consult with the other pediatrician. The pediatrician told her that this type of rash was normal for toddlers who were experiencing marbly stool. Which he was and was what I was trying to explain to her as my initial thought of cause.

So now, a year later, this whole experience lingers with me. I worry that my child is being abused and I don't know it. I over analyze things like if he doesn't want his diaper changed or if he is pushing away blankets it's because it's reminding him of a bad experience.

What do I do? How do I know if my child is actually being abused? Are the warning signs of any kind?

Please help!
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#2 of 6 Old 08-19-2014, 07:27 AM
 
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These situations are always complicated, stay tuned for changes in your child's behavior, and keep an eye out for any new bruises on your child.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-19-2014, 12:31 PM
 
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Oh heavens.

Well, for one, I would not go back to that practice. That was an ace job they did, sending you home terrified, and then calling to say everything was normal.

Can you find a therapist to discuss this with? Or review the incident with your new pediatrician and ask for resources?

I think you have no evidence that anyone has harmed your child, but that pediatrician would make anyone question themselves, and it is really hard to see signs of harm in toddlers - it can feel like everything could be either normal development or abuse.
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#4 of 6 Old 08-24-2014, 06:40 PM
 
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I suffer from similar feelings, and research doesn't seem to help, because it only talks about extreme cases (like genital bleeding etc.)

From what I have been able to research, look for signs that are more subtle: does your toddler have a tailbone that is protruding towards the skin, that lacks its normal curvature, or is there any redness around the anus combined with any differentation from the normal anus retraction pattern (not combined with constipation or food allergy rash)?

Also look for emotional signs... not just protestation, but if your child gets "spaced out" while in the company of a certain person-- they could be having a dissocative response, that could mean past trauma with that person...

Hope this helps. Try to be scientific about it.. and yes grandfathers are not ALWAYS to be trusted, but that doesn't mean you should assume either way.

Also you can talk to your child about basic boundaries, like about "privates" and that no one should ever hurt him.
Even if he's not old enough to talk clearly back to you, it's important for them to learn about their own sovreignity. A child who does not submit to being abused has a better chance of getting less abused than one who is a totally innocent lamb.
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#5 of 6 Old 09-20-2014, 10:09 PM
 
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Oh dear. I am sending you so much good will and good vibes, and just love on your baby because you know that's good. And he can know you are a little worried and still feel secure.

I have to say this chilled me. I've had paranoid thoughts recently about my daughter being abused because of how she reacts to diaper changes. I go back and forth between thinking I am being insane to thinking I am insane if I don't look into it. But she is also potty-learning gradually, just trying it out here and there, and today, she got upset when she peed in the tub. So I kind of think it's just feeling out of control down there still.

Daycare is a lovely place with sweet people who've all been there many years. There's lots of cross-supervision; big open windows, etc., and grandparents are very good to me, etc., Husband is truly a gentle soul.

Why must there be terrible people

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#6 of 6 Old 09-20-2014, 10:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sereneimago View Post
Also you can talk to your child about basic boundaries, like about "privates" and that no one should ever hurt him. Even if he's not old enough to talk clearly back to you, it's important for them to learn about their own sovreignity.
Beautifully put.

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