Internet Dangers

  Parent's  Rules ‘N Tools™

  Youth Safety Guide

  Safety Tools

  Harms of Porn

  Child Sexual Abuse

       Symptoms of Problem

       Signs of Sex Abuse

       Warning Signs

       Specific ? to Ask Kids

       Dealing with Trauma

       FAQ's & Answers


       Exploitation Study

  Report a Cybercrime

  Big Cheese Sites

  Donna Rice Hughes

  Kids Online

  Public Policy Updates

  MouseClick Maze (home)

Signs of Sexual Abuse


There are various lists of possible physical and behavioral indicators of child sexual abuse, some of which are:
  • Waking up during the night sweating, screaming or shaking with nightmares.

  • 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 person.

  • 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.
(By Kathy Smedley, Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist, and Program Director for the Northeast Texas Children's Advocacy Center.)


© 2001 by Donna Rice Hughes. Request permission if you wish to reprint or post.