Identifying Child Sexual Abuse: Recognize the Warning Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

There is a list of warning signs that you need to look out for if you suspect a case of child sexual abuse. Usually, the presence of more than one sign at a time can be indicative of sexual abuse.

Behavioural changes:

  • Loneliness and withdrawn behavior
  • Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
  • Short attention span and failure to concentrate
  • Drop in school performance and grades
  • Depression anxiety and sudden mood swings
  • Suddenly has access to money, toys and other things
  • Avoidance or Fear of a particular person /place /situation
  • Cringing from being touched or likes to be touched too much
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Abusive aggressive behavior
  • Disturbed sleep / Change in sleep pattern
  • Sudden use of sexual words and sexualized behavior
  • Temper tantrums, hysterical behavior
  • Running away and absconding
  • Excessive Masturbation
  • Sexual Promiscuity
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Shoddy appearance and poor general hygiene

Physical signs to look out for:

  • Irritation in throat, anal area, genitalia
  • Bed wetting / Thumb sucking / Nail biting (especially in older children)
  • Self harm and sexual harm to other children
  • Repeated Urinary Tract Infection
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Marks of violence
  • Unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth
  • Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
  • Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
  • Difficulty in walking or sitting

Click the Thumbnail Below to Download & Print The Warning Signs

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Note: This is not an exhaustive list.