of Sexual Abuse
There are various lists of possible physical and behavioral indicators
of child sexual abuse, some of which are:
(By Kathy Smedley, Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage,
Family Therapist, and Program Director for the Northeast Texas Children's
- Waking up during the night sweating, screaming or shaking
- Masturbating excessively.
- Showing unusually aggressive behavior toward family members,
friends, toys, and pets.
- Complaining of pain while urinating or having a bowel movement,
or exhibiting symptoms of genital infections such as offensive
odors, or symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease.
- Having symptoms indicating evidence of physical traumas to
the genital or anal area.
- Beginning wetting the bed.
- Experiencing a loss of appetite or other eating problems,
including unexplained gagging.
- Showing unusual fear of a certain place or location.
- Developing frequent unexplained health problems.
- Engaging in persistent sexual play with friends, toys or pets.
- Having unexplained periods of panic, which may be flashbacks
from the abuse.
- Regressing to behaviors too young for the stage of development
they already achieved.
- Initiating sophisticated sexual behaviors.
- Indicating a sudden reluctance to be alone with a certain
- Engaging in self-mutilations, such as sticking themselves
with pins or cutting themselves.
- Withdrawing from previously enjoyable activities, like school
or school performance change.
- Asking an unusual amount of questions about human sexuality.
© 2001 by Donna Rice Hughes. Request permission if you wish to reprint or post.