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

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.


1. A look at child abuse on the global level

2. Signs of child abuse

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Child Sexual Abuse Understanding The Dynamics pinterestChild Sexual Abuse pinterest


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.
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