Warning Signs of Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse

Emotional Signs

Emotional signs of child sexual abuse are changes in eating habits, mood per personality (increased aggression), decrease in confidence or self-image, excessive worry or fearfulness, loss of interest in school, activities, and friends, nightmares, or fear of being alone at night, and self-harming.

Behavioral Signs

Some behavioral signs of child sexual abuse can be excessive talk or knowledge of sexual topics, not talking as much as usual, not wanting to be left alone with certain people or being afraid to be away from primary caregivers (especially if this behavior is new), regressive behaviors or resuming behaviors they have grown out of such as bedwetting or thumb sucking, sexual behavior inappropriate for the child’s age, and avoiding removing clothing to change or bathe.

Warning Signs of Child Neglect

Some of the warning signs of child neglect could include being smelly or dirty constantly, being overly hungry as if they haven’t eaten in a while or not being provided with food or money for food, wearing dirty clothes or wearing the same clothes for days on end, have clothes that are inappropriate for the weather conditions, or having frequent and untreated nappy rashes in infants.

Additional warning signs are allowing children to witness violence or severe abuse between parents or adults, ignoring or insulting children, or threatening children with violence, not providing children with a safe environment and adult emotional support, and showing reckless disregard for the child's well-being.