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•  avoids physical contact •  withdrawn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)
•  bedwetting 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 at CCCM, Inc., today and speak with Dr. Karen McDonald.