Common Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse causes long-term physical and emotional pain. However, recognizing it can be difficult. Unfortunately, children often do not directly talk about sexual abuse. Instead, they show physical, emotional, or behavioral changes caused by the trauma itself. While emotional signs can range from unexplained anger or depression to acting “too perfect,” sometimes kids do not show any signs.

Behavioral Signs

The following are common behaviors which could indicate child sexual abuse or another trauma:

  • Sudden behavioral changes
  • Loss of interest in things previously enjoyed
  • Unexplained fears of specific places and individuals with a certain characteristic or feature
  • Afraid of being touched
  • Afraid of being alone with a specific individual
  • Acting less mature for their age or reverting back to doing tasks of younger children
  • Changes in the child’s grades and schoolwork
  • Being delinquent
  • Overly compliant or “too perfect” behavior
  • Constantly asking sexually inappropriate questions
  • Produces drawings that are sexually elicit
  • Plays with their own private body parts
  • Encourages play which involves sex with friends, pets, or toys

Emotional Signs

The following are common emotions which could mean a child has experienced sexual abuse:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Nightmares, night terrors, or other forms of sleep disturbance
  • Extreme bouts of anger (i.e. aggression, tantrums, or an increase in irritability)

Physical Signs

The following are several physical signs which could indicate child sexual abuse:

  • Change in eating habits
  • Bedwetting or soiling clothes (more than usual if it occurs already)
  • Unexplained or constant health issues such as headaches and stomachaches
  • Physical pain or itching in the private parts area
  • Issues sitting or walking
  • Blood stains or other discharge found in underwear
  • Rectal bleeding

Other Things to Consider

A child may also be at a higher risk of sexual abuse if he/she is involved in the following situations:

  • Lives in a low-income or rural area
  • Lives in a home where the parents are divorced
  • Lives with a stepparent
  • Spends long hours alone with authority figures (i.e. teachers, coaches, babysitters, clergymen, etc.)

At White Law PLLC, we are committed to protecting the rights and best interests of victims of child sexual abuse. Whether the abuse happened at school or in a house of worship, our experienced legal team can help you obtain the justice you deserve.

Contact us and schedule a free consultation for more information about child sexual abuse today.