When we talk about child abuse, we usually talk about cases in which it is adults who commit such abuses, but there are also cases in which it is minors who commit the abuse. We are not going to look at what can lead a minor to abuse another, but at the consequences that may have for a child who is an equal or another minor who abuses them. These are the emotional consequences for children who have been sexually abused by other children.
The first thing to establish is that not all abused children suffer "trauma" or are marked in the same way. The elaboration of an experience like this is individual, the consequences can vary enormously from one child to another.
There are factors that make the experience of abuse cause certain effects or consequences in development, such as:
- The frequency of abuse.
- The use of physical violence.
- The age of the victim and the harasser.
- Personality characteristics of the victim.
- If the abuse has been perpetrated by one or more people.
Therefore, the consequences can be very varied and it does not occur in all victims in the same way. Some of the short-term or more frequent consequences that may appear (and can serve as signs that something is happening at school or in the environment) are:
- Fear or refusal to go to school.
- Problems with classmates or friends or in their extracurricular activities, (social withdrawal or aggressive behaviors).
- Poor school performance, attention concentration problems,
- Nightmares or sleep problems.
- Changes in the child's appetite, (not wanting to eat or overeating).
- Anxiety, general fear, aggressiveness.
- Child depression and low self-esteem.
- Somatizations, etc ...
This type of abuse, in turn, can have long-term consequences, such as:
- Depression, anxiety, phobic disorders.
- Substance abuse or use.
- Social problems, lack of social skills, conduct disorders.
- At the sexual level, it can have as consequences risk behaviors, difficulties in maintaining intimate relationships, sexual dysfunctions, etc ...
The attention to be given to a child who has been a victim by peers or minors in their environment will depend on the damage or consequences they present, which, as we said, does not occur in all children or in the same way. Sometimes it may happen that there are no traumatic sequelae, but it will be important to monitor the child as well as the families. In the event that there are indeed psychological consequences, it is necessary to intervene with these children and their families.
The role of the family is fundamental and essential in the recovery of children who have suffered sexual abuse or assault. It is important that they show themselves as the child's affective reference, that they support them, that they remain balanced and for this, which is not easy, it is best to seek the support of psychology professionals, who are the ones who can best support and advise on not easy situations like these.
You can read more articles similar to Children who have suffered sexual abuse by other children, in the category of on-site abuse.