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What are some possible signs of child sexual abuse?

What are some possible signs of child sexual abuse?

The effects of sexual abuse vary between children. The following list is not comprehensive, but gives symptoms sometimes shown by children as a result of abuse
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral (change in school performance, anger and mood changes, aggressiveness, rebellion)
  • Nausea/upset stomach
  • Crying/clinging to parents
  • Nightmares/changes in sleep patterns
  • Lying
  • Sexually inappropriate behavior
  • Fears/phobias
  • Attention seeking
Other physical signs to be aware of include:
  • Unexplained headaches, stomach aches, vomiting, fainting, blackouts
  • Bedwetting, soiling, or other related problems
  • Loss of weight or appetite, or weight gain
  • Problems such as itching, pain, or soreness in the genital or anal areas
  • Unexplained injury of vagina, rectal opening, penis, or genital areas
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothes
  • Sexually transmitted disease or vaginal discharge
Children will react differently to abuse depending on their age, the extent of the abuse, or their relationship with the offender. Abusers sometimes make comments leading the child to believe that they have somehow provoked the abuse, which may affect their reaction to the abuse. Most children will not show physical injury.