What are the Warning Signs of Abuse?

The warning signs of abuse vary by age:

  • Children up to age 3:
    1. ▫ Fear or excessive crying
    2. ▫ Vomiting
    3. ▫ Feeding problems
    4. ▫ Bowel problems
    5. ▫ Sleep disturbances
    6. ▫ Failure to thrive
  • Children ages two to nine:
    1. ▫ Fear of particular people, places, or activities
    2. ▫ Regression to earlier behaviors such as bed wetting or stranger anxiety
    3. ▫ Victimization of others
    4. ▫ Excessive masturbation
    5. ▫ Feelings of shame or guilt
    6. ▫ Nightmares and sleep disturbances•
    7. ▫ Withdrawal from family or friends
    8. ▫ Fear of abuse recurring
    9. ▫ Eating disturbances
  • Older children and adolescents:
    1. ▫ Depression
    2. ▫ Nightmares or sleep disturbances
    3. ▫ Poor school performance
    4. ▫ Promiscuity
    5. ▫ Substance abuse
    6. ▫ Aggression
    7. ▫ Running away from home
    8. ▫ Fear of abuse recurring
    9. ▫ Eating disturbances
    10. ▫ Early pregnancy or marriage
    11. ▫ Suicide or attempt
    12. ▫ Anger
    13. ▫ Inappropriate interest or knowledge of sexual acts
  • Additionally these signs may appear:
    1. sores
    2. discharge
    3. tears
    4. redness or swelling of the genitals
    5. Sexually transmitted disease

     

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