Red Flags of Child Sexual Abuse

Physical Indicators

  • Bruises and/or hickeys on the face or neck area, groin, buttocks and inner thigh
  • Sexually transmitted diseases and/or pregnancy
  • Unexplained trauma to the genital area, bleeding or pain
  • Burning during urination, discharge and/or abdominal pain
  • Torn or stained clothing

Behavioral Indicators

  • Fear or repulsion when touched by an adult or fear of a special type of person or gender
  • Extreme masturbation
  • Overt sexual acting out toward adults and/or simulation of sophisticated sexual activity with your children, animals or toys
  • Knowledge of sexual matters and details of adult sexual activity inappropriate for age or developmental level
  • Fear of and/or refuses to undress, even for gym class
  • Sexualized play, artwork, written assignments, language; possibly combined with violence
  • Excessive layers of clothing; especially when going to bed
  • Disturbances in or sudden changes in sleep patterns; nightmares, fear of going to bed, bedwetting, difficulty falling asleep, etc.
  • Relationship/Intimacy problems and/or sexual dysfunction
  • Child prefers to be alone, isolates
  • Shuts down (in activity or emotionally) in the presence of the offender
  • Likely to utilize chemical substances (alcohol or drugs) to stop painful emotions
  • Development of a rigid and controlling lifestyle as an attempt to compensate for lack of control during abuse

ICASA Resource Manual

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