Recognizing Sexual Abuse

 

NSOPW writes-

This page outlines general indicators of:

If you suspect sexual abuse, see the Help and Support section of the Website.

Warning Signs in Children of Possible Sexual Abuse

Boy falling asleep as teaching is presenting.

Stop It Now! has developed a warning signs tip sheet to help identify possible warning signs. Any one sign does not mean that a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you begin asking questions and consider seeking help.

Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent:

    • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
    • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
    • Has a sudden change in eating habits
    • Refuses to eat
    • Loses or drastically increases appetite
    • Has trouble swallowing
    • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity, or withdrawal
    • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
    • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
    • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
    • Writes, draws, plays, or dreams of sexual or frightening images

Boy writing or drawing on a piece of paper.

  • Talks about a new older friend
  • Suddenly has money, toys, or other gifts without reason
  • Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty, or bad
  • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language, and knowledge

All of the warning signs listed above are general indicators of sexual abuse in children. Many children do not actually disclose what happened; it is up to attentive adults to recognize hints. However, if you suspect a child has been abused by seeing these indications, or if he or she hints at abuse or outright discloses sexual abuse, seek help.

Behavior more typically found in adolescents (teens):

Pill bottles and alcohol.  Eluding to abuse of both substances.

  • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  • Inadequate personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Suicide attempts
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness
  • Compulsive eating or dieting

(Read More)

If you enjoyed this post, or found it informative, please consider sharing it!

Comments are closed.