How to spot the signs of sexual abuse in children

How to spot the signs of sexual abuse in children

SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - OffenderWatch offers the following warning signs, which could indicate a child has been abused.

Any one sign does not mean that the child was abused. Some of the behaviors below can show up during stressful times in a child's life, as well as when abuse occurs. If you see several of these signs in a child you know well, please begin to ask questions.

You can view all the active Tier III registered sex offenders in Southwest Louisiana HERE.

Does the child:

• Have nightmares, trouble sleeping, fear of the dark, or other sleeping problems.

• Talk about an extreme fear of "monsters".

• Space out at times.

• Show a sudden loss of appetite, or trouble eating or swallowing.

• Exhibit sudden mood swings: rage, fear, anger, or withdrawal.

• Fear of certain people or places. For example: a child may not want to be left alone with a baby-sitter, a friend, a relative, or some other child or adult; or a child who is usually talkative and cheery may become quiet and distant when around a certain person.

• Stomach illness all of the time with no identifiable reason.

• Child behaving like a younger child, such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking.

• Sexual activities with toys or other children, such as simulating sex with dolls or asking other children / siblings to behave sexually.

• New words for private body parts.

• Refusing to talk about a "secret" he or she has with an adult or older child.

• Talking about a new older friend.

• Suddenly having money.

• Cutting or burning herself or himself as an adolescent.