Signs To Watch Out For As A Parent

As a parent, the thought of your child being sexually abused is a terrifying one. Unfortunately, it happens all too commonly. It’s important to keep your mind open to the possibility of it happening to your child. So often, signs of child sexual abuse are overlooked because parents are afraid to consider it being a possibility. However, no matter your family’s ethnicity, socioeconomic status or any other consideration, abuse can happen to your child. Here are the

signs you need to watch out for, according to the nonprofit advocacy group Darkness To Light. Physical Signs

When it comes to sexual abuse, direct physical signs simply aren’t that common. However, any kind of unexplained bruising, bleeding, redness or bumps should be investigated for any kind of abuse. Scabs around the mouth, genitals or anus could also indicate sexual abuse. Other physical signs include sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, and abnormal penile or vaginal discharge.

More common for sexual abuse are indirect physical signs. These may include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Wetting or soiling incidents that aren’t related to potty training
  • Recurring or persistent pain during urination or bowel movements
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Headaches
  • Headaches

Often, these symptoms are suddenly onset.Behavioral and Emotional Signs

Like other forms of abuse, sexual abuse often has profound impacts on the emotions and behavior of a child. Common signs include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Sleep disturbances, including night terrors or nightmares
  • Change in eating habits
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Aggressiveness toward family members, friends, and pets, anger issues and other changes in mood
  • Not wanting to be alone with a certain person
  • Unusual fear of certain places or people
  • Sudden lack of interest in sports, friends or other activities
  • A change in academic performance or attitude toward school
  • Runaway behavior, or withdrawl or rebellion
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Avoiding relationships
  • Being overly compliant or “too perfect”
  • Self-mutilation or suicidal thoughts
  • Changes in body perception
  • Advanced knowledge of sexual language or behavior