SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

November 27, 2012

Dear Abby: Little boy may have been abused

:Dear Abby: I am writing to you in response to “Not on My Watch” (Sept. 19), about the little boy who repeatedly exposes himself to other children. While correcting this behavior to protect the other children is something the parents and other concerned adults in this child’s life should be doing, there may be more going on here that needs to be addressed. Children who have been victims of sexual abuse can exhibit overtly sexualized behavior that goes beyond typical curiosity or age-appropriate sexual development.

There are several issues happening with this boy that bother me. The repeated exposure of his private parts to others is the first. While this behavior is not unusual in young children and can be a normal part of sexual curiosity, the compulsive continuation and frequency of his behavior raises red flags. He also mentioned keeping a “secret.” This is a common tool used by people who abuse children. The manner in which he interacted with “Not on My Watch’s” daughter sounds a lot like an interaction between an adult abuser and a child — something he may have been mimicking.

Young children who are sexually abused may not have the developmental or verbal capabilities to disclose what is happening. Often, it is through behavioral or emotional signs that we discover the abuse.

While it is important to protect the children this boy interacts with, the more appropriate response to this situation would be to calmly explain to him why his behavior is inappropriate, along with a discussion to find out if he has witnessed this behavior in others or if he has “secrets” with anyone.

If he discloses something during the discussion, it should be immediately reported to the local child protective services and/or police. And if his behavior continues, it would be best to seek professional intervention.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • misselwood_2 Rare, classic cars make an appearance at annual Endicott College show

    The original Concours d'Elegance was a fashion show on wheels. "It did start in 17th century France, where some of the aristocracy wanted to show off the fashions they were wearing," said Patrick Cornellison, chairman of the event. "Mainly women woul

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • twenties_3 Ipswich's Castle Hill braces for 1,000 at Roaring '20s Lawn Party

    The latest dance craze started in the 1930s. The Lindy Hop, which first flourished in the ballrooms of Harlem, is expected to draw hundreds of people to a dance floor at the Crane Estate this Sunday. Organized by Boston Swing Central, a dance club in

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • kallyson North Shore entertainment calendar Good cause YARD SALE TO BENEFIT JIMMY FUND. Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 11 Anna Drive, Danvers. Family yard sale with all proceeds benefiting the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. WOOSHIE'S WARRIORS FUNDRAISER FOR MS. Sunday, July 27, 10 a.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • The reader's eye Name: Erika Torkildsen Hometown: Beverly Description: "I took this at the Salem Common around a park where I noticed a ripped basketball net amid the blue sky. Instead of taking the picture from my original view, I tipped the camera up from under the

    July 24, 2014

  • shakespeare Good cause The Bard comes alive on Misery Island Join Sea Station for its inaugural performance of "The Tempest Trials," a Shakespearean festival on Salem's Misery Island, on Saturday from noon to 4:15 p.m. The festival features actors of all ages participating

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Horoscope Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Your goals and current lifestyle need a little adjustment. Be receptive to new ideas, and make a change if you want to feel better about the direction you are heading in. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Your leadership qualities

    July 24, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Girl and cousin both need counseling after assault Dear Abby: My granddaughter "Cindy," age 2, was being watched by her mommy's ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, "Bubby hurt me." Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman s

    July 23, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, July 23

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker