Indicators of Sexual Abuse
According to the United States Department of Juvenile Justice, one in every four children
will experience some type of unwanted sexual touch before the age of 18: one in every three girls and one in every five boys. Since fewer than five percent of molested children will ever tell anyone what happened, it is important for parents, teachers and others who care for children to be aware of the indicators of sexual abuse. Although each case is different, some possible behavior indicators of child abuse include the following:
• sleeping in class• daydreaming
• emotional outburst• hunger
• avoids physical activities• aggression
• reluctant to go home• bullying
• repeated tardiness• perfectionism
• avoids physical contact• withdrawn
• poor school performance• poor memory
• nervousness• stuttering
• overly compliant and passive behavior• extreme shyness
• inappropriate sexual language• stoic behavior
• extreme shifts in behavior• clumsiness (accident prone)
• bed wetting or frequent daytime urination• tics or other jerking movements
• fear of certain people, places or objects• defensive sleep positions
• self-injury (cutting, burning, head banging, hair pulling, extreme nail biting)Children who are being abused most often will use vague complaints that we should investigate further. Preverbal children or those with limited vocabulary will tell through behaviors such as aggression, showing fear or crying and/or by using speech that describes the event with words that they understand.
If your child or a child you know is showing the indicators of sexual abuse, it is worth further investigation! If you have further questions about the indicators of sexual abuse, please contact our Sexual Abuse Specialists today and speak with Dr. Karen McDonald or Susan Hixson.
Dr. Karen McDonald
Dr. Karen McDonald is the author of Racheal’s Rest’s BLOGS. These BLOGS are thoughts, tools and experiences that Karen wanted to share with you and are in no way “counseling”. If you, or someone you know, has been the victim of sexual abuse, sex trafficking and/or domestic violence issues, contact us today to get more information about Racheal’s Rest private counseling, workshops and retreats to begin your journey to emotional health.