Did you know in the last year, 69% of children served were for sexual abuse cases?

As parents, responsible adults, and civil members of our community, we can all positively agree that the protection and safety of innocent children is something we should always advocate for and prioritize. 

Regrettably, there are members of our community who do not share the same morals as the Children Advocacy Center and the people who support us. Sadly, children in our families, neighborhoods, and all over the Rio Grande Valley are being sexually abused. 

What Are Physical Signs a Child Is Being Sexually Abused?

Children who are being sexually abused are going through a trauma that affects their physical bodies and mental state of mind. In instances of abuse, physical signs can easily go unnoticed, but oftentimes, emotional signs are more apparent and often drastic.

Physical Warnings

Physical signs of sexual abuse may not be readily noticeable. If, for any reason, you hear a child talking about these issues or somehow see abnormal behavior, please report it.  

Below are a few physical signs that a child is being abused sexually:

  • Walking irregularly or having trouble sitting
  • Discomfort, itching, or soreness in the genital region
  • Undergarments that are stained, have blood, or have been damaged
  • Lacerations, bruises, or markings in external private areas
  • Experiences stomach aches and headaches often
  • Venereal diseases
  • Urinating constantly  
  • Yeast infections
  • Pregnancy

Behavioral and Emotional Signs

When a child is being sexually abused, changes in their behavior and temperament may occur, and these warnings are often easier to distinguish. Some behavioral and emotional signs a child is possibly a victim of sexual abuse include the following:

  • Lost interest in hobbies and social events
  • Severe and recurrent depression 
  • Premature knowledge of sex
  • Inappropriate sexual jargon
  • Flinching or being uncomfortable with physical embrace
  • Feeling threatened being in close proximity
  • Acting promiscuous 
  • Leaving home without permission
  • Child feeling responsible or in distress over their siblings
  • Diminished self-esteem and confidence 
  • Suddenly uninterested and distant from friends
  • Obvious weight gain or loss
  • Suicidal ideation 
  • Difficult to control emotions
  • Issues at school or with learning
  • Inexcusable and unexplained animal cruelty
  • Excessive talk about or knowledge of sexual topics
  • Being private and talking less than normal
  • Abruptly being afraid to be alone with a particular person or scared to be apart from caregivers
  • Revisiting behaviors from past life stages, like bedwetting and thumbsucking
  • Excessively obedient and docile 
  • Acting out sexual behaviors improper for their age
  • Isolation
  • Hesitant in changing, removing clothing, or bathing 
  • Developing different eating habits
  • Personality changes, especially if becoming more aggressive
  • Body dysmorphia 
  • Apparent increase in anxiousness and worriedness 
  • Increased nightmares or afraid of being alone at bedtime
  • Self-harm, such as cutting and burning

Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo and Starr Counties has been advocating for the safety of children along with the support of the community. If you suspect a child you know is a victim of sexual abuse, please report this child abuse by  alerting the authorities or Child Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400.

Children’s Advocacy Center Aspire to Keep Children Safe

The mission of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo and Starr Counties has been to protect the children residents of our community since 2001. We implore the community to educate themselves with signs and warnings of child abuse we have provided. Together, we can keep children safe.