What are the signs of sexual abuse?

Have you ever thought about the signs of sexual abuse? Haven't you talked about this with your child? It's high time to do it. Read the article and be ready to become shocked having found out all the signs of sexual abuse.

Signs of sexual abuse

In recent years, the problem of sexual integrity of children and adolescents has greatly exacerbated. Parents and educators are alarmed, fearing for the lives and health of their children. It is necessary to consider this issue in detail, in order to know, in which case you should immediately seek for help.

Sexual abuse of children or teenagers - these actions with the child, which are carried out in order to meet the adult satisfaction against the wishes of the child and in conditions when he is not able to understand them in terms of his development, to give them up and to protect themselves by unequal mental and physical strength.

Usually, the victims of sexual abuse are children under the age of 12 years, but they are most commonly between the age of 3-7 years. The child does not understand what is happening, it is easier to intimidate, persuade him not to tell anyone what happened (that is, entering into silence).

Sexual abuse?

Having committed an act of violence, adult hopes that at this age the child is still not able to find words to describe what happened. Since the child's fantasy is often blended with reality, you probably will not believe his story.

Most parents, teachers and psychologists are afraid to discuss the issue of sexual violence, much more than the victim. In conversations with the children they do not ask the right questions on this topic, and sometimes do not hear when children tell them about violence towards them. At the same time, experience shows that even in the presence of objective information all the attention focuses on the offender, while the victim needs foremost attention and the necessary social, psychological and medical assistance.

A special feature of these crimes is that often a child knows this man. These may be people who his parents are very trustful to: father, stepfather, family, friends, or those who by virtue of their professional duties are designed to communicate with him and protect him - doctor, teacher, educator, coach, priest, etc. Most often, these people lead a normal way of life and do not reveal themselves.

Prevent yourself from it

It is much difficult to establish the facts of sexual abuse than physical one, since the disclosure of family secrets is prevented by feelings of guilt, shame and fear experienced by the child and other family members who know what happened.

The child supposes that having told about this to the psychologist, he would betray his father or mother. In addition, the children are afraid of their repressed anger related to stress processing. They fear that if they start to talk, then anger will increase and they will lose control over themselves and their feelings. In addition, they are always haunted by the fear that the person to whom they talk will reject them, feeling disgusted.

Signs of sexual abuse

In case of sexual abuse or sexual assault changes can occur both in child's behavior and his physical and psychological condition.

Physical symptoms:

Oral symptoms of eczema; dermatitis; herpes on the face, lips, mouth; In addition, refusal to eat (anorexia); overeating (bulimia).

Anal symptoms: lesions of the rectum, anus, redness, varicose changes, the weakening of the sphincter, and constipation.


Vaginal symptoms: violation of the hymen, vaginal expansion, new lesions (wounds, abrasions), co-infections.

In addition, the physical symptoms of sexual abuse of a child are:

• torn, stained or bloody underwear;

• bruising in the genital area;

• bleeding, unexplained discharge from the genitals;

• bruises and bites on his chest, buttocks, legs, lower abdomen;

• abdominal pain;

• recurring inflammation of the urinary tract;

• diseases, sexually transmitted diseases;

• pregnancy


Changes in a child's expression of sexuality:

• extreme interest to the games with sexual content;

• striking for this age knowledge about sexuality;

• tempting, especially enticing behavior toward the opposite sex and adults;

• sexual acts with other children (starting with primary school age);

• unusual sexual activity: sexual use of younger children; masturbation (from pre-school age).

Changes in the emotional state of the child and communicating:

Children sexual abuse

• isolation, withdrawal;

• depression, bad mood;

• disgust, shame, guilt, distrust, feeling of dipravity;

• frequent reverie, detachment (children and adolescents from pre-school age);

• hysterical behavior, rapid loss of self-control;

• difficulty in communicating with peers, avoiding contact with them, no friends of his own age, or refusal to communicate with former friends;

• alienation of the brothers and sisters;

• terrorizing younger children and children of their age;

• cruelty to toys (younger children);

• ambivalent feelings to adults (starting with primary school age).

Changes in personality and motivation of the child, social features:

Don't keep silence

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• inability to protect themselves, non-resistance to violence and bullying on themselves, humility;

• extreme changes in performance (worse or better);

• absenteeism in school, refusal and evasion of studying;

• adoption of the parental role in the family (for cooking, washing, cleaning, looking after younger children and education);

• denial of the traditions of his family due to unformed social roles and their role in it, until the leaving of the house (typical for teenagers).

Changes in the child's identity:

• self-esteem changes;

• thoughts of suicide, suicide attempt.

The emergence of neurotic and psychosomatic symptoms:

• fear to remain in the room alone with a certain person;

• fear of undressing (for example, can categorically refuse to participate in physical training or swimming, or take underwear during medical examinations);

• headache, pain in the stomach and heart.

Of course, identifying the sexual abuse of a child has any of these signs, do not just suspect abuse, but if the signs are present in complex, you should pay attention to this, to gently ask him about what was going on in his life. If your fears are confirmed, then you must immediately report the crime to the police, and provide your child with professional psychological assistance.

If assistance is not provided on time, the child is left alone with his problem. The psychological trauma of childhood have a strong influence on all subsequent human life, the formation of his character, the future sex life, physical and mental health, adapting to the society as a whole.

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