Kids Project Evidence of Sexual Abuse in their Drawings

Free drawing is a projective technique, used as an analytical strategy towards the beginning of the diagnostic process, in psychotherapies, in free play and other instances which promote the spontaneous expression of emotions and/or sensations. It is frequently used in children and teens; however, it is also applicable in adults. This technique aims at collecting information about expectations, interests, values, and all those issues that emotionally affect the person who executes the drawing. Topics can arise spontaneously in a graphic creation and they will be interpreted by the expert. Many aspects are taken into account, such as the sociocultural reality of the individual, to his individuality, integration and organization of their personality and the motor capacity of symbolic expression.

Free drawing must be analyzed applying a Gestalt vision, that is, understanding the group and the relationship between the elements. Graphic data is never analyzed separately. It is necessary to follow a detailed analysis of the structural-formal and content aspects that will allow synthesizing, on the basis of repetitive elements, those significant features that can contribute to a specific diagnosis.

Children’s drawing is a graphic manifestation and it is full of spontaneous symbolisms that speak of the psycho-emotional intimacy of the individual. The condition of free drawing promotes the exteriorization of meanings through images that may or may not have apparent meaning for the analyst, but which, strictly speaking, always have an intrinsic meaning for the child. As regards this, sexual abuse speaks for itself through children’s drawings. There are 6 cases shown, some selected from different sources and other cases that I have compiled from some of my patients, who have agreed to show me their material for research purposes.

Many explanations are strong and the images are explicit; however, it is much stronger to ignore this information, which may be the child’s first call for attention or help done in a family or school environment.

The idea is not to shock without arguments, since this article only aims to show the importance of having the professional training to develop an accurate diagnosis. Consequently, the firstrecommendation is that in the face of this type of evidence it is best to consult one or more professionals to carry out a complete study of the case and discard graphic variables that are sometimes intense and even aggressive, but do not refer to any sexual abuse.

7-year-old girl, victim of sexual abuse by her father.
In the drawing, she refers to the need for help, because she feels alone and feels that no one is listening.