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What are the Signs of Sexual Abuse?

We often get calls from parents, family member and friends that are concerned their child or loved one is being sexually abused. There are certain signs one can look for. These signs can be physical and/or emotional. Often times, you may see the emotional signs before you do physical evidence of abuse. If you are concerned you or a loved one has been sexually abused, please contact attorney Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller for a free, 100% confidential consultation.  

Emotional Signs of Sexual Abuse

There can be many emotional signs of sexual abuse. However, these same signs can be caused by other stress or trauma in a person’s life. That is why it is important to have a full understand of the person’s day to day interactions and stressors. Emotional signs of sexual abuse may include: 

  • Withdrawal from friends, family or activities
  • Rebellion towards friends and family
  • Lack of interest in things they once enjoyed
  • Headaches, stomach aches, and other health issues
  • New and unusual fear of certain places or people 
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Unexplained outbursts of anger
  • Abrupt change in personality 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Nightmares
  • Decreased academic performance 
  • Suicidal ideation 
  • Self-harm (cutting/burning) 
  • Drug use
  • Sexual aggression 

Physical Signs of Sexual Abuse

Physical signs of sexual abuse are often not present, or kept hidden by the victim. Physical signs of this type of abuse can include: 

  • Bruising 
  • Lacerations
  • Bleeding or scabs around the mouth, genital or anus
  • Soreness in the pelvic area
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Headaches and stomach aches 
  • Panic attacks

If you see signs of physical sexual abuse, you should have your child or loved one evaluated immediately or call the police. There are many resources available to you. Experienced sexual abuse attorney Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller can walk you through the civil process and discuss your potential claim and the options you might have to obtain justice and compensation.

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