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What are the symptoms of sexual abuse of a child?

Symptoms of sexual abuse of a child include the following signs:

Physical:
  • difficulty sitting, walking, bowel problems
  • torn, stained, bloody undergarments
  • bleeding, bruises, pain, swelling, itching of genital area
  • frequent urinary tract infections or yeast infections
  • any sexually transmitted disease or related symptoms

Behavioral:
  • doesn’t want to change clothes (e.g., for P.E.)
  • withdrawn, depressed, anxious
  • eating disorders, preoccupation with body
  • aggression, delinquency, poor peer relationships
  • poor self-image, poor self-care, lack of confidence
  • sudden absenteeism, decline in school performance
  • substance abuse, running away, recklessness, suicide attempts
  • sleep disturbance, fear of bedtime, nightmares, bed wetting (at advanced age)
  • sexual acting out, excessive masturbation
  • unusual or repetitive soothing behaviors (hand-washing, pacing, rocking, etc.)
  • sexual behavior or knowledge that is advanced or unusual
  • reports sexual abuse

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.