What are some of the signs of Childhood Sexual Abuse?

Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the child exhibits:

  • An increase in nightmares and/or other sleeping difficulties
  • Angry outbursts
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Pregnancy or contraction of a venereal disease, particularly if under age 14
  • Propensity to run away
  • Refusal to change for gym or to participate in physical activities
  • Regressive behaviors depending on their age (e.g., return to thumb-sucking or bed-wetting)
  • Reluctance to be left alone with a particular person or people
  • Sexual knowledge, language, and/or behaviors that are unusual and inappropriate for their age

There may be no signs at all!!

 

Take it very seriously when a child reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver.

Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the parent or other adult caregiver:

  • Is unduly protective of the child or severely limits the child’s contact with other children, especially those of the opposite sex
  • Is secretive and isolated
  • Describes marital difficulties involving sexual relations or family power struggles