Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre_Parent Support Handbook

. . . . . Warning Signs

Children are less likely to talk about what is upsetting them and more likely to show us.

Behavioural Warning Signs

Age inappropriate sexual play or sexual knowledge

Acting out in an sexual way with toys or objects

Disrupted sleep patterns and nightmares

Running away

Becoming withdrawn or very clingy

Inserts objects into vagina or rectum

Becoming unusually secretive (i.e. about new friends, phone calls, internet use) Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure

Directs sexually intrusive behaviour to adults

Changes in school performance/attendance

Regressing to younger behaviours, such as bedwetting

Unexplained developmental setbacks (i.e. not toilet trained) Involved in sexually exploitive activities (i.e. performing sex acts for money)

Fear of particular places or people

Outbursts of anger and aggression

Flinches when touched

Changes in eating habits

Misuse of drugs or alcohol

New adult words for body parts and no obvious source Talk of a new, older friend, and unexplained money or gifts

Not wanting to be alone with a particular child, young adult, or adult

Forces another child to participate in sexual play

Self-harm (i.e. cutting, burning, or other harmful activities)

Stealing, fire setting

Being overly protective of siblings

Easily startled/frightened

Adapted from:

Physical Warning Signs

See your doctor if you notice any of the following physical warning signs: • Unexplained or persistent pain • Discolouration, bleeding, or discharge in genitals, anus or mouth • Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training • Pregnancy • Sexually transmitted diseases

Any one of the above signs DOES NOT mean that a child was or is being sexually abused - but the presence of several signs, suggests that you should consider seeking help .

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