Indicators of sexual abuse

Children often show signs that they have been sexually abused. Some may show many signs, while others only a few, experts said. Below are a list of some symptoms of sexual abuse in children, not including physical signs such as venereal disease and pregnancy.

Indicators of sexual abuse in young children include: 

» Sleep disturbances

» Bed wetting and/or loss of fecal control

» Regressive behavior

» Self-destructive or risk-taking behavior

» Impulsivity, distractibility, difficulty concentrating» Refusal to be left alone

» Fear of an individual, such as an alleged offender

» Fear of people of a specific type or gender

» Fire setting

» Cruelty to animals

» Problems relating to peers

» Sudden changes in behavior

» Difficulties in school

» Inappropriate interest (for the age) in things sexual

Indicators of sexual abuse in older children include: 

» Eating disturbances (bulimia and anorexia)

» Running away

» Substance abuse

» Self-destructive behavior, suicide attempts, self-mutilation

» Incorrigibility

» Criminal activity

» Depression and social withdrawal

» Problems relating to peers

» Sudden changes in behavior

» Difficulties in school

Source: www.childwelfare.gov

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