Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

S/O Warning Signs That Might Suggest Someone Is Sexually Abusing a Child

Posted by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:45 PM
  • 31 Replies
1 mom liked this

Warning Signs That Might Suggest Someone Is Sexually Abusing a Child

 

The following behaviors could be cause for concern:

  • Making others uncomfortable by ignoring social, emotional, or physical boundaries or limits
  • Refusing to let a child set any of his or her own limits; using teasing or belittling language to keep a child from setting a limit
  • Insisting on hugging, touching, kissing, tickling, wrestling with, or holding a child even when the child does not want this physical contact or attention
  • Turning to a child for emotional or physical comfort by sharing personal or private information or activities that are normally shared with adults
  • Frequently pointing out sexual images or telling inappropriate or suggestive jokes with children present
  • Exposing a child to adult sexual interactions without apparent concern
  • Having secret interactions with teens or children (e.g., games; sharing drugs, alcohol, or sexual material) or spending excessive time e-mailing, text-messaging, or calling children or youth
  • Being overly interested in the sexuality of a particular child or teen (e.g., talks repeatedly about the child's developing body or interferes with normal teen dating)
  • Insisting on or managing to spend unusual amounts of uninterrupted time alone with a child
  • Seeming “too good to be true” (e.g., frequently babysits different children for free, takes children on special outings alone, buys children gifts or gives them money for no apparent reason)
  • Frequently walking in on children/teens in the bathroom
  • Allowing children or teens to consistently get away with inappropriate behaviors

 

         Warning Signs in Children of Possible Sexual Abuse

Stop It Now! has developed a warning signs tip sheet to help identify possible warning signs. Any one sign does not mean that a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you begin asking questions and consider seeking help.

Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent:

  • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
  • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
  • Has a sudden change in eating habits
  • Refuses to eat
  • Loses or drastically increases appetite
  • Has trouble swallowing
  • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity, or withdrawal
  • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
  • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
  • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
  • Writes, draws, plays, or dreams of sexual or frightening imagesTalks 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 behaviors, language, and knowledge

All of the warning signs listed above are general indicators of sexual abuse in children. Many children do not actually disclose what happened; it is up to attentive adults to recognize hints. However, if you suspect a child has been abused by seeing these indications, or if he or she hints at abuse or outright discloses sexual abuse, seek help.

Behavior more typically found in adolescents (teens):

    Pill bottles and alcohol.  Eluding to abuse of both substances.
  • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  • Inadequate personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Suicide attempts
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness
  • Compulsive eating or dieting

References

  1. Stop It Now!, “Behaviors to Watch for When Adults Are With Children.” (http://www.stopitnow.org/behaviors_watch_adult_with_children) (November 1, 2012)
  2. American Psychological Association, “Managing Traumatic Stress: Tips for Recovering From Disasters and Other Traumatic Events.” How do people respond differently over time? (http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/recovering-disasters.aspx)
  3. Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, “Who Does It Impact?” (http://www.taasa.org/) (November 1, 2012
by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
heath394
by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:46 PM

 Bump

heath394
by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:50 PM

 Bump

jllcali
by Jane on Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:51 PM
1 mom liked this
Bump
Mommabearbergh
by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Bump
jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 11:54 PM

What would you say about the following scenario:

My 5 year old neighbor girl hangs out with my four year old.  She got him to go behind a dumpster and get naked and "do sex".  My son didn't know anything about that until then (which I am seriously furious at her for).  She's tried a couple of other times to get him to take his clothes off or things to that effect.  She's sneaky and does things behind my back.  Her brother is constantly trying to touch my kids' butts, usually in a joking manner, by spanking or poking them.  He's 7.  They are otherwise fairly happy, albeit obnoxious, kids, so none of the warning signs listed above seem to apply.  Are they just being exposed to sex (they have 3 older teenage sisters, one of whom has a baby, and live with them and mom and dad in a small 3 bedroom townhouse) and sexual issues, or is there a possibility of molestation?

mommy2Kailey
by Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 12:02 AM
1 mom liked this

 Sounds pretty normal, but keep an eye on the situation. 

Quoting jessilin0113:

What would you say about the following scenario:

My 5 year old neighbor girl hangs out with my four year old.  She got him to go behind a dumpster and get naked and "do sex".  My son didn't know anything about that until then (which I am seriously furious at her for).  She's tried a couple of other times to get him to take his clothes off or things to that effect.  She's sneaky and does things behind my back.  Her brother is constantly trying to touch my kids' butts, usually in a joking manner, by spanking or poking them.  He's 7.  They are otherwise fairly happy, albeit obnoxious, kids, so none of the warning signs listed above seem to apply.  Are they just being exposed to sex (they have 3 older teenage sisters, one of whom has a baby, and live with them and mom and dad in a small 3 bedroom townhouse) and sexual issues, or is there a possibility of molestation?

 

jessilin0113
by Platinum Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 12:08 AM

Oh definitely.  Some of the people I've told had a bit of an overreaction, but there is nothing in the kids' behavior that suggests anything bad is happening.  Maybe they are a little overexposed to sex, but I personally don't think they are being abused. 


Quoting mommy2Kailey:

 Sounds pretty normal, but keep an eye on the situation. 

Quoting jessilin0113:

What would you say about the following scenario:

My 5 year old neighbor girl hangs out with my four year old.  She got him to go behind a dumpster and get naked and "do sex".  My son didn't know anything about that until then (which I am seriously furious at her for).  She's tried a couple of other times to get him to take his clothes off or things to that effect.  She's sneaky and does things behind my back.  Her brother is constantly trying to touch my kids' butts, usually in a joking manner, by spanking or poking them.  He's 7.  They are otherwise fairly happy, albeit obnoxious, kids, so none of the warning signs listed above seem to apply.  Are they just being exposed to sex (they have 3 older teenage sisters, one of whom has a baby, and live with them and mom and dad in a small 3 bedroom townhouse) and sexual issues, or is there a possibility of molestation?

 



Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Aug. 7, 2013 at 2:54 AM

BUMP!

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Aug. 7, 2013 at 3:57 AM


Quoting jessilin0113:

What would you say about the following scenario:

My 5 year old neighbor girl hangs out with my four year old.  She got him to go behind a dumpster and get naked and "do sex".  My son didn't know anything about that until then (which I am seriously furious at her for).  She's tried a couple of other times to get him to take his clothes off or things to that effect.  She's sneaky and does things behind my back.  Her brother is constantly trying to touch my kids' butts, usually in a joking manner, by spanking or poking them.  He's 7.  They are otherwise fairly happy, albeit obnoxious, kids, so none of the warning signs listed above seem to apply.  Are they just being exposed to sex (they have 3 older teenage sisters, one of whom has a baby, and live with them and mom and dad in a small 3 bedroom townhouse) and sexual issues, or is there a possibility of molestation?

Sounds like they have been exposed to sexual activity....doesnt mean they have been sexually abused, its more about being exposed.   JMO

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Aug. 7, 2013 at 5:58 AM

Another sad one not mentioned is a potty trained child suddenly constantly wetting herself...often seen in a child where sexual abuse is/has happened in the bathroom. They're scared to use it.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN