65-year-old man rapes 2 young girls: How can we protect our babies?
Relatives, family friends, and neighbours - no matter how old they are - can potentially be a sexual predator.
A recent, highly disturbing case of child rape emphasises the fact that predators come in all shapes and size… and ages. The predator was only caught because one of the victims, a four-year-old girl, had told her father she was being molested after complaining about pain. In this article, we discuss the signs of a child being molested and how to identify other adults who could be potential predators.
Rapists Aren’t Defined by Age
Recently, police officers in South Jakarta arrested a 65-year-old man known by the initials “AS”. His crime is something that would devastate any parent: the rape of two precious young girls.
The crime came to light recently when a four-year-old girl grumbled to her dad about experiencing bodily discomfort.
“When questioned by the father, the child told him that she had been raped by AS,” said Stefanus Tamuntuan, the South Jakarta Police crime investigation unit’s Head Adjunct Senior Commissioner, as reported in kompas.com.
AS is an unmarried man who lives not too far from the children. Reportedly, he confessed that in addition to raping the four-year-old, her six-year-old cousin was also a victim.
According to Adjunct Commissioner Nunu Suparni, the head of South Jakarta Police’s Women and Children Protection Unit, AS’s main motivation for the crime “was just desire.”
Under Indonesian Law, AS can be charged up to 15 years of jail time for his unlawful act.
But what if you don’t even know if it has taken place?
If the father of the four-year-old had not asked, AS would have been left scott-free. Here are some signs of a child being molested that might hopefully aid you in helping your child overcome such tragedies.
Signs of a Child Being Molested
Identifying whether a child has been sexually abused or not isn’t easy. Not only does the act often happen in secret, but very young children might not even realise that they are being sexually abused.
Most of the time, children show us if something is upsetting them instead of telling us directly. Due to this, the HPB advises parents to watch out if their child behaves differently than usual, as it could point to sexual abuse.
According to the Child Sexual Abuse Fact Sheet published by The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, USA, there are several red flags you should watch out for that could indicate child sexual abuse:
- Changes in behaviour, such as an increase in angry outbursts, being withdrawn etc
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Sleeping issues such as nightmares
- Showing anxiety about being alone with a particular person
- Displaying age-inappropriate behaviour, or sexual knowledge/language
How Can You Tell if Someone Is Targeting Your Child?
Most of the time, sexual predators are actually people who you know or your child knows – relatives, friends, neighbours. However, there are some clear signs that a person could actually be a sexual predator. Seeing at least one behaviour, or any combination of the following behaviours, could mean that you’re dealing with a sexual predator.
1. Favouring a child, or being overly affectionate towards a child
This is a clear give away. Relatives or family friends who seem to be overly biased in showering your child (especially if you have other kids) with affection, praise, money or expensive gifts for no obvious reason should raise alarm bells in your head.
Keep a close watch. Although it’s entirely possible that the person is genuinely fond of your child, it could also be a sign of more sinister intentions.
2. Insisting on physical affection
A person who insists on being physically affectionate to your child – through hugging, kissing, or even playing wrestling – against the child’s wishes is definitely a red flag.
Don’t be afraid to intervene. Even if you’re not sure of the person’s motive, it wouldn’t hurt to politely tell them not to do so as your child clearly doesn’t like it. Knowing that you are aware might deter the predator from actually sexually abusing your child.
3. Ever ready to babysit
Face it, no one really wants to babysit, all the time! If someone seems a bit too forthcoming to babysit your child, even without you requesting, you might want to ask yourself if they have a different agenda. Don’t be too eager to get your kids out of your hair!
4. Creating opportunities to be alone
No matter how trustworthy people appear to be, leaving your child alone with them always carries some risks. Someone – particularly an adult – constantly trying to create opportunities to be alone with your child is a red flag. Don’t let it happen – it could lead to sexual abuse.
It can even happen at home. You never know if having a child alone in a room with someone, such as tutors, could lead to sexual abuse. It’s best to keep them within your sight. After all, you really never know when and how child sexual abuse starts.
5. Disregard for privacy and personal space
No one should be walking in on your child when he or she is in a private space. That includes when they are changing, resting, lying on their bed or couch, showering or using the washroom. If you notice someone intruding this private space or completely disregarding your child’s privacy, it’s not something that you should take lightly.
Likewise, warning bells should start to ring if you notice someone always trying to sit close to your child. If you even suspect that that they are too close for comfort, or if your child seems uncomfortable, do something about it.
On this note, as unfortunate and as uncomfortable as this sounds, it’s important to be mindful of siblings as well. It might not be child sexual abuse that occurs intentionally. Still, as children start to grow, they do get curious. And their siblings are the easiest target for them to “explore”. Set boundaries for your children and explain to them what is appropriate.
6. Speaking on behalf of the child
No one has any reason to be speeaking on behalf of your child. That includes intimidating them, interrupting them or showing any form of control or command over them. As a parent, you should sense something is amiss if this happens. Whether or not it is a case of child sexual abuse, it’s disconcerting and you should take note of it, and act accordingly.
Mums and dads, our children are extremely precious and we must always look out for them. They are frequently unaware of the dangers in their surroundings. With enough vigilance and attention, we can prevent the worst from befalling our children.