What are behavioral / physical indicators of sexual abuse?
Possible indicators include:
  • A fear of certain places, people, or activities, especially being alone with certain people (children should never be forced or coerced into giving affection)
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Disturbed sleep / frequent nightmares
  • Drastic change in school performance
  • Loss of appetite or trouble eating or swallowing
  • Pain, itching, bleeding, fluid, or rawness in the private areas
  • Reverting back to outgrown behavior, such as bedwetting or thumbsucking
  • Sexual behavior or knowledge beyond their years
  • Sexually acting out on younger children
  • Sudden mood swings, withdrawal, rage, fear, or anger
  • Using new words for private body parts

Not all of these indicators will mean that your child has been victimized. Some behaviors listed can be part of normal development or stress. The greater the number of indicators present and the more sudden the onset, the more reason you have to be concerned. Physical evidence in genital or rectal areas must be taken seriously and treated immediately.

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1. What are behavioral / physical indicators of sexual abuse?
2. If I know of an offender that is not in your database, should I contact you?
3. I recently received a sex offender notification. What should I tell my young child?
4. Is most childhood sexual abuse committed by strangers?
5. What can I do to help prevent my child from being sexually abused or abducted?