- Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
- Seems distracted or distant at odd times
- SLEEP AND EATING DISORDER:
- Has a sudden change in eating habits
- Refuses to eat
- Loses or drastically increases appetite
- Has trouble swallowing.
- trouble falling or staying asleep, sleeping at unusual times of day, or sleeping for longer or shorter than usual.
- POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS:
- Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
- Indirectly says things that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
- Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
- Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
- Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
- Talks about a new older friend
- Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
- Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad
- Exhibits adult-like sexual knowledge:
- child may hate own genitals or demand privacy in an aggressive manner.
- child may think of all relationships in a sexual manner.
- child may dislike being his/her own gender.
- child may use inappropriate language continuously in his or her vocabulary or may use socially unacceptable slang.
- child may carry out sexualised play (simulating sex with other children).
- Unwarranted curiosity towards sexual act like visiting adult sites or watching adult images or content.
- Sometimes when the aggressor shares the same household, or is a relative, the child shows reluctance to go home
- Low self esteem
- Wears many layered clothes regardless of the weather
- Poor peer relations
- Poor school performances
PHYSICAL SIGNS THAT A CHILD IS BEING ABUSED:
Usually there will be no physical signs. Sometimes there are stark warnings if a girl child gets pregnant. Otherwise, here are some signs that you can look out for:
- Pain, discolouration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
- Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
- Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training
- Difficulty in walking or sitting
- Repeated unusual injuries
- Frequent yeast infections
Sometimes, you might be able to identify a child abuser. To find out about signs that might be present in a child abuser, read here.
For signs sometimes displayed by adults who have been abused, read here.
If you suspect a case of sexual abuse, please do not keep quiet but take action to stop it. Here is some information about how you can help.