Warning Signs in Children

Keep your eyes and ears open.  It may save your child's life.
  • Children who are too frightened to talk about sexual abuse may exhibit a variety of physical and behavioral signals. Parents are responsible for noticing symptoms of abuse. It is important to remember that some of these signs could also be indicators of other kinds of abuse or distress that the child might be experiencing and may not necessarily point towards child sexual abuse.

    · Changes in behavior such as withdrawal, fearfulness, crying without provocation.

    · Appetite disturbances.

    · Recurrent nightmares, disturbed sleep patterns, fear of the dark.

    · Regression to more infantile behavior such as bedwetting, thumb sucking, or excessive crying.

    · Torn or stained underclothing.

    · Vaginal or rectal bleeding, pain, itching, swollen genitals, vaginal discharge, or sexually transmitted diseases.

    · Unusual interest in or knowledge of sexual matters, expressing affection in ways inappropriate for a child of that age.

    · Fear of a person or an intense dislike at being left somewhere or with someone.

    · Other behavioral signals such as aggressive or disruptive behavior, running away, failing in school, or delinquent behavior.