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Know the Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State football coach, is on trial for 52 counts related to allegedly sexually assaulting 10 boys.


Sadly, child sexual abuse is in the news once again. In Pennsylvania, trial of former Penn State football coach, JerrySandusky, is underway. In New York, allegations of decades-old abuse at an elite private school have recently surfaced.
The headlines are reminding us how vulnerable kids can be. We teach them to trust and revere the adult leaders in their lives – family members, coaches, teachers, babysitters, clergy and other leaders in our community. But sometimes these trusted adults are the very people from whom we need to protect our children.

All adults members – including parents, grandparents,aunts or uncles – can be helpful in preventing and spotting the signs of sexual abuse in the children we love. Here are some key steps you can take and signs to look for. Keep in mind that family members should first consult with a child’s parents before taking any action.


Signs of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is usually uncovered when either a victim self-reports the abuse, someone witnesses the abuse or observes key behaviors that cause suspicion and investigation, or when a child contracts a sexually transmitted disease or becomes pregnant. Keep in mind that the signs of abuse may vary according to a child’s age. Look for: