sexual abuse

child silenced by abusive parent

This section is for Adults helping your own child who has been abused (including parents, grandparents and other relatives). Every person seeking help from Justice for Children MUST complete the Intake Form to the right (yellow button). If the child in need is not related to you, we may still be able to help.

Most commonly involves exploitation of a child for sexual gratification.The abuser may be an adult or an older child or adolescent, and the abuse may include forcing a child to engage in sexual activities, asking or pressuring the child to do so (regardless of the outcome), indecent exposure of the genitals to a child, displaying pornography to a child, rubbing the genitals against the child, physical contact with the child’s genitals, viewing of the child’s genitalia without physical contact, or using a child to produce child pornography. Selling the sexual services of a child is also sexual abuse.

Signs of sexual abuse may include:

  • Difficulty walking/sitting
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Pain, swelling, or itching in genital area
  • Bruises, bleeding, or lacerations in external genitalia, vaginal or anal areas
  • Painful urination
  • Vaginal/penile discharge
  • Venereal disease
  • Poor sphincter tone
  • Pregnancy
  • Semen about genitals or on undergarments
  • Swollen or red cervix, vulva, perineum or anus
  • Simulation of sexual activity with younger or same age children
  • Excessive masturbation
  • Seductive behavior or sexual acting out towards adults, promiscuity, etc
  • Knowledge of sexual matters inappropriate to age or developmental level
  • Lack of trust, particularly with significant others
  • Poor peer relationships, social withdrawal
  • Sudden drop in academic performance
  • Unwillingness to undress for physical education class
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Arriving to school early/leaving late
  • Depression, guilt, shame
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Behavioral extremes (overly aggressive or compliant)
  • Behavioral regression (infantile behavior in older children)
  • Nightmares/won’t sleep alone
  • Over/under-eating

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Start the process of getting help, or getting help for a child in need, now.

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Justice for Children provides guidance through the legal and judicial processes, assists in court watch, and advocates on behalf of children to law enforcement and other governmental agencies. JFC connects individuals with legal resources including pro bono attorneys and helps with protective orders. Justice for Children JFC is also involved in a variety of legal research projects and has contributed to amicus briefs, researching legal issues and providing data on important legal issues affecting the rights of abused children.

Justice for Children assists and refers several thousand callers annually through the complicated and unsympathetic maze of governmental agencies established to protect abused children. Advocating for an abused or neglected child takes on many different forms of participation and involvement. These include researching and gathering supporting documentation; reviewing supporting documentation; referring persons to professionals; guiding them through the legal and judicial process; providing legal assistance with protective orders; initiating child abuse investigations; serving as a liaison to law enforcement and other governmental agencies; generating advocacy correspondence and amicus briefs; acting as facilitator of professional services; court watch; and providing pro bono legal representation and connecting persons with attorneys.

Justice for Children has proposed and drafted legislation to improve the laws pertaining not only to child abuse and child protection, but also laws concerning the funding for protective services. We have also presented legislation designed to make the legal process more child-friendly. Additionally, because of its experience in this area, Justice for Children receives numerous requests to provide testimony regarding various pieces of legislation around the country.

Justice for Children has traditionally provided information and materials to combat child abuse and to educate the public of the signs and symptoms of child abuse or neglect in its efforts to interrupt its dismal cycle. In 2012, it is initiating a project called “Just in Time”, to develop a series of informational and instructional modules to be placed on its website. Each is designed specifically to aid a field on the front lines of identifying and re-mediating child abuse: the community, medical first responders, school personnel, pediatricians, court personnel, and counseling professionals.

We seek to collaborate with other concerned national and community leaders, professionals, institutions, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies to further a common goal of solving the deficiencies in our present child protective systems. By expanding our relationships within the community and on a national level, we are working to create a system that will effectively handle a child’s initial report of abuse, provide immediate safety, and ultimately, prosecute and convict the child abuser.

Justice for Children’s expert opinion continues to be recognized and valued by local and national media, legal and medical professionals, child abuse experts, and various other children’s rights organizations. We have been featured on ABC’s Primetime Live, ABC’s prime-time documentary entitled ‘Crimes Against Children,’ a PBS documentary entitled ‘Boy Crying, Baby Crying,” as well as appearances on Good Morning America, Donahue, the Discovery channel’s “Justice Files,’ HBO and in 2011, the BBC.