C. Physical indicators
Physical changes also often occur in victims of child sexual abuse and they may include some of the following –
1. Recurrent vaginal infections
Vulvovaginitis has been seen to occur among child sexual abuse victims. Any repetitive complaints of vaginal distress could have roots in sexual abuse.
2.Unexplained anal or vaginal injuries
Anal injuries usually are less common in child sexual abuse, compared to vaginal injuries. In any case, suspicion should ideally lead to a thorough investigation.
3. Pain while urinating
Along with frequent urination, pain or itchiness in vaginal area might be present in some cases of child sexual abuse. The cause could be an underlying infection, which can be ascertained only through a thorough check-up.
4. Aberations and lacerations
Major signs of trauma are usually not present in most cases. But there can be lacerations present near the vaginal area.
5. Presence of seminal fluid
This is often a clear physical indicator and must be taken seriously
D. Biological indicators:
1. Sleep disturbances
For some children who have been sexually exploited, sleep disturbances are very common. The children might face difficulty falling asleep and as a result may appear to be fatigued and drained of energy.
2. Changes in eating habits
Anxiety caused by abuse can lead to notable changes in the eating habits of the child. Some children will eat more often to gain weight while others will shun away from eating. They may start having gastrointestinal and related problems like stomach ache, bloating, indigestion etc. Feelings of nausea and aversion to foods they initially liked is common.
Child sexual abuse is a tough subject to negotiate for victims, caregivers as well as third party investigators and law-makers.
It is not a context that a child can come to terms with or articulate easily. But if you’re a caregiver, law-maker or someone keen to understand child sexual abuse and its impact better, knowing symptoms can take you a step ahead.
You may also like:
- Child sexual Abuse: 5 Reasons Why You Should Reveal It
- Understanding and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect
- 8 Heartbreaking Thoughts You Face As An Adult Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse
- How To Heal From Childhood Trauma When Its Hampering Your Mental Health
- The Impact and Long-Term Effects of Childhood Traumas and Complexes