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People commonly believe that if a child was being hurt, that they would tell someone what was going on in their lives. In reality, however, the child may not be able to tell someone what is occurring for the following reasons:

  • Feelings of shame
  • Loss of trust
  • Low self esteem
  • Unaware that acts are inappropriate
  • Fear of breaking up the family
  • Alienation of family member
  • Isolation
  • Threats
  • Confusion
  • Child may not be believed
  • Children are taught to trust and obey adults
  • Added factors with sexual abuse:
    • May feel good/pleasurable (emotionally, physically) to child
    • Grooming – perpetrator often starts out slow (touching, kissing) and moves on to more invasive acts