Child Sexual Abuse : Understanding The Dynamics And Signs Of Sexual Abuse In Children

Here are some of the signs you have to watch out for in the child to identify sexual abuse:

Child Sexual Abuse Understanding

A. Behavioral indicators

A body of research has gone into discovering that child sexual abuse may indeed bring about certain behavioural changes in the said child.

1.  Oversexualization

This could include kissing inappropriately (thrusting their tongue into the mouth of the person they are kissing), repeatedly masturbating or touching their privates, inappropriate (for the age, especially for children below 10) curiosity around sexuality, trying sexualized activities with other children, fondling themselves, drawing sexual images etc.

2. Regressive behaviours like thumb-sucking and bed-wetting

Other anxious responses include thumb-sucking and bed-wetting. Again excess anxiety and pent-up fear is considered to be the real reasons behind this. Behaviours such as thumb-sucking can in fact provide some self-soothing relief to the victim.

3. Clinginess

Some victims of child sexual abuse may become so fearful that they may appear to be always clingy and wanting to be held and accompanied. The real reason could be an heightened fear of the perpetrator and a need to stay away from them as much as possible.


B. Psychological indicators:

1. Irritable mood

Some children show frequent changes in mood, mostly reacting violently to very trivial triggers. the child may even start using abusive words which he/she never used in the past.

Aggressive behaviour, which may stem from anger towards the perpetrator and a family or caregivers who couldn’t protect the victim, could also arise. This mood swings is the outcome of the underlying fear and anxiety effectuated by the abuse.


2. Fear of a particular place or person

A child who is undergoing abuse often has fear associated to a particular place, location or person. He/she might have unexplained periods of panic instigated by certain places or persons. It is very crucial to notice this specific sign because it helps in speedy identification of the perpetrator. The child may be scared of going to school, tuition or near a certain person who might be abusing the child.


3. Depression and poor self-esteem

The inability to work towards disclosure and alongside, living with repetitive abuse can push children towards depression and lack of self-esteem.

The child can socially withdraw, lacking vigor and general enthusiasm in life and fail to keep up with academics.


4. Repeated nightmares 

Children who are sexually abused may be traumatized by frequent nightmares that lead to broken sleep and extreme physical tiredness.


5. Changes in beliefs

A child might suddenly refuse to share a secret shared with a specific older member of the family or someone known to the child or frequent mention of a stranger who became familiar to the child. The child might start to believe that his/her body is dirty,bad or repulsive.

Sunanda Pati
Sunanda Pati is a certified expressive arts therapist and facilitator and a freelance creative writer. Having developed an early interest in psychology and later various forms of bodywork, she has actively worked in knowing her own inner world and processing various traumas. She believes every person is blessed with an endless reserve of inspiration, courage and wisdom. Sunanda lives, writes, practices and facilitates in Bangalore, India. More of her writings can be found at : She also runs an expressive arts initiative of the same name (Gaia Comes to the City), which can be found on Facebook.
- Advertisment -


Here are a few pieces of marriage advice on the 4 main critical skill areas you need for a successful partnership.
Men are complex. One day they may shower you with love, while the very next day they may seem withdrawn. So when your man...
During childhood, the emotional connect we develop with those around us has a major role to play of what we become in our adulthood.
Here are some of the most common signs of a legitimate haunted house and some steps to help you start dealing with living in one!

Editor's Pick

Thank you for always taking and never giving. For always asking for my love and understanding and yet never being emotionally available for me.
Look closely at the picture below. And decide what you saw first. Whatever you see will tell you a lot about your perception of life and who you are on the inside.
Age has nothing to do with being a man. Age is merely a number—actions define who he really is. But here’s the problem—most women spend their time trying to change boys into men.
A Libra longs for partnership, it is her heart’s forever-wish; but to love a Libra, you must love her completely.
- Advertisement -

Latest quotes

Let Me Tell You Something
The Biggest Rule in a Relationship