Signs of sexual abuse can often go unnoticed. Children may not tell you they have been sexually mistreated. Instead, you may notice subtle signs, such as changes in a child s behavior or emotions, or physical signs.
Sexual abuse can cause many behaviors. Most of these behaviors are harmful. However, some are helpful in certain situations. For example, some victims of pedophilia find comfort in their victims. Others use sexually abusive behaviors to mask their sexual attractions to younger people.
Children experience different types of sexual behaviour. Some experience exhibitionism and masturbation (in both males and females). Some engage in sexual fantasy and some exhibit no sexual behaviour at all. If your child exhibits any type of sexually inappropriate behaviour, discuss family safety plan with your pediatrician. He or she can create a family safety plan for you, which will involve all members of the family.
Some other signs of sexual abuse include children being unable to concentrate on schoolwork and school. Children might notice signs of sexual abuse when they experience withdrawal from activities they enjoy, such as sports. These behaviours are common among children who have experienced trauma. Some symptoms of sexual abuse include severe headaches and blurred vision, a sudden drop in weight, or chronic infections. Children might also notice signs of sexual abuse if they exhibit changes in their personality.
Children who have experienced trauma might also display emotional signs. Emotional signs can be observed when children suffer from physical injuries or have low self-esteem. Other signs include mood swings, constant questioning about their personal identity, frequent moodiness, extreme violence towards other children, and constant acting out. Some emotional signs of sexual abuse might also be displayed when a child is put in positions that they find uncomfortable and they repeatedly ask why they are uncomfortable.
Other physical signs of sexual abuse include bleeding and infection in the areas where there has been trauma. Children might also observe bleeding while urinating. Some children might have infections that result in pus discharge, sores, and abscesses. A child might develop psychological problems including depression, fear of the world, insecurity, and moodiness. If these psychological symptoms are present, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Painful or recurrent pain that lasts for more than a couple of days should alert parents to suspect that their child is being abused. There are two types of sexual abuse: forced and abusive sexual contact and non-sexual sexual contact (for example, giving a bath, using toilet training techniques). Forced or abusive sexual contact includes forcing a child to perform sex or giving a child special attention in the form of fondling or touching. Non-sexual contact includes giving children a bath, using toilet training techniques, and so on. However, there are some signs of abuse that do not relate to sexual touching or genital exposure. Some symptoms include vomiting after eating or soiling accidents, chronic crying and loss of weight, unexplained bruises, constant illness, and constant soiling in the place where they sleep.
The signs of sexual abuse that are most likely to occur in an older child are physical, but there are some signs of sexual abuse that occur in younger children as well. If a young child continually screams for his/her mother or other family members, especially when nobody is home, it could be a sign of sexual abuse. If a child suddenly starts smacking his/her own buttocks, banging his/her head, biting his/her own nails, and so on, it could be a symptom of sodomy. If a child refuses to eat, drinks less than normal, becomes very fidgety, has red marks on his/her skin, has difficulty sleeping, or develops speech difficulties while being sexually abused, it could be a symptom of sexual abuse.