Sexual abuse is more likely to be identified
through behavioral indicators, rather than by physical indicators.
in walking or sitting
related illnesses, such as anorexia or bulimia
in urinating or defecating
Recurrent urinary infections
Evidence of physical trauma, to the oral, genital or anal areas,
manifested as bleeding, discharge, soreness and/or itching
Bruising and other injury to breasts, buttocks and thighs and other
parts of the body
Sexually transmitted disease in a child of any age
Behavioral indicators in and of themselves
do not constitute abuse. Together with other indicators they may
warrant a referral.
problems, inexplicable fall in academic grades, poor memory and
to participate in physical or recreational activities
to younger behaviour, such as thumb-sucking, acting like a baby,
bedwetting and/or speech difficulties
to cling or need constant reassurance
accumulation of money or gifts
of headaches, stomach pains or nausea without a physiological basis
and sleeping difficulties
withdrawal (such as poor or deteriorating relationships with adults
fears, phobias and anxieties (A fear of a specific place related
to abuse, a particular adult, refusing to change
into sports/swimming clothes)
of provocative clothing, or layers of clothes to hide injuries and/or
to appear unattractive
knowledge, behavior, or use of language not appropriate to age level
inference in children's recreational activities such as drawing,
playing, singing etc.
abusive behavior towards other children, particularly younger or
more vulnerable than themselves
inappropriate sexual behavior.
running away from home/school.
behavior, like alcohol or drug abuse, body-mutilation, getting in
trouble with law, suicide attempts
Effects of Child Sexual Abuse
The effects of child sexual abuse vary
from child to child with each child developing his/her own coping
mechanism. The effects are dependent on a host of factors, the primary
ones being age of the child, sex of the child, the relationship
with the abusers, frequency of abuse and availability rof support
systems etc. But some of the more common effects of child sexual
abuse recorded are:
Distrust of others and themselves.
Terror and anxiety.
Shame, guilt, and self-hatred.
Alienatation from their bodies.
Isolation and withdrawal from people and activities.
Powerlessness, depression, and extreme passivity.
Obsession with sex or complete aversion to it.
Questioning their sexuality and gender.
Drug and alcohol use, abuse and addiction.
Perfectionism and workaholism.
Mental illness and suicide.