The child sex abuse scandal surrounding Penn State former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is making headlines all over the world. But it is also a topic at the family dinner table. Knowing how to discuss not only the scandal itself, but the topic of child sexual abuse is crucial for parents.
Dr. Gudman Freeman of The Manassas Group in Roanoke says she's been treating child sexual abuse victims for more than 30 years, and believes the cases have increased in recent years. She says that may be partly because of an increased awareness brought on by both media coverage of the incidents, as well as educational programs.
There are many signs parents can look for, if they suspect their child has been a victim of sexual predator. Just a few of the signs include a child having sleep problems, having major changes in eating habits, displaying adult-like sexual behaviors or language.
Dr. Freeman says parents should ask their child what they think about the Penn State scandal, and let the child lead the way in the discussion. That way, parents can clear up any misconceptions that kids may have about sexual abuse, in general.