Common signs of child abuse

Psychologist Sheila Kamen, PsyD, shares advice on the most common signs that a child has been molested or sexually abused and what to do if you notice the signs in a child
Common Signs and Symptoms of Child Abuse or Molestation
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Common signs of child abuse

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Because children often do not tell anyone if they’re being sexually abused, parents can look for signs in their children that may indicate that they have been sexually abused. These are signs that children who have been sexually abused often exhibit: The first are behavioral signs – if you notice your child withdrawing from activities; if you notice a dramatic change in their appetite or in their sleep habits, then you want to pay close attention. Also, you might see physical signs on their bodies, such as bruising or rashes. If your child is complaining about any abdominal pain or pain in their genitals or anus, especially while using the bathroom. That could also be a sign. And lastly are psychological symptoms. So you may notice your child is fearful in specific situations or with certain people, or overall, they may seem more anxious, or more down or depressed. These may be signs as well as regression, which is when a child returns to a state that was developmentally earlier in their life, so for example, your child may be sucking their thumb when they had long stopped doing that, or they may be wetting their bed, or going to the bathroom in their pants. So it’s important that if you do suspect that you do talk to your child about it. That’s okay. And to get help.

Psychologist Sheila Kamen, PsyD, shares advice on the most common signs that a child has been molested or sexually abused and what to do if you notice the signs in a child

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Sheila Kamen, PsyD

Psychologist & Sex Therapist

Sheila Kamen works with individuals and couples in La Jolla, California.  She works with individuals and couples as a coach and therapist. She specializes in couples therapy, sex therapy, and relationship coaching. She also offers premarital and family building counseling. While she no longer works with children, she does help parents with issues related to children.  Sheila lives in San Diego. 

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