Help & Guidance

Child Sexual Abuse Definition.

Sexual abuse is when an adult engages a child in sexual activities. It emanates when an adult uses his power and influence and exploits the trust and respect the child has for him/her. These sexual activities might be carried out by force, deceit, blackmailing with goodies or simply by terrorizing the child.

Effects of Sexual Abuse on Child

It can impact the health and growth of the child.
It may lead to low self-esteem, thereby causing the victim to bottle up his/her emotions.
It can cause the child to have difficulty in trusting others and to have strong, bonded relationships.
It may lead to eating disorders and can also make the child jittery all the time with constant panic attacks.
It can cause the child to have nightmares and sexual problems.
Unless proper care and help is not provided to the child, the effects of sexual abuse can prolong to adulthood.

Signs and Symptoms of Sexual Abuse

Below are signs to be expected from a child who has been sexually abused.
• Constant urinary problems and infections.
• Bed wetting.
• Sudden diminishment or desistance of the ties with friends.
• Lack of interest.
• Lack of concentration.
• Unusually interested to sexual activities.
• Hostile behaviour towards elders or to people who are responsible to the child at various situations.
• The need to surround oneself with people always.
• Changes in speech. For example conversing in a more childish manner.
• Difficulty in studying.
• Running away from home.
• Complaining of being sick.
• Unable to trust others.
• Fearing things and actions that were once not fearful to the child.
• Incapable of having fun with others.
• Attempts of self-harm.
• Mistreating oneself and lack of self-appreciation.
• Drug abuse.
• Being careless towards oneself.
• Noticing sexual behavior from the child.
• Acquiring the knowledge of inappropriate sexual information.

How can you help a victim

If you know or doubt that a child is being abused, question the child and figure out ways to help him/her. Encourage the child and give him/her the assurance that he/she is not alone. Regularly check their situation and help them to the best of your capability.

How to find help to a victim

If you know or doubt that a child is being or has been sexually abused, below are ways you could seek help.
• If from an island of K.Atoll, kindly report to Ministry of Gender and Family’s number 3328393
• If from another atoll (apart from K.Atoll), contact or simply visit the Family and Children Service Centers (FCSCs) for assistance
• To report to Maldives Police Service, contact Family and Children Protection department’s number 300600
• Report to 1412, toll free hotline number established to report cases of child abuse