Signs of sexual abuse

Educational Psychologist Michele Borba, EdD, shares advice on the common signs and symptoms that often indicate that a child has been sexually abused
Signs of Sexual Abuse or Molestation In Children
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Signs of sexual abuse

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Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse in kids are often overlooked, but if you watch for a pattern and tune in closely to your child's behavior, you may be able to pick up some signs. Unfortunately, kids don't tell us, so we need to look. First, look for some behavioral signs. Behaviors that are far different from your child's normal. He is becoming very clingy. All of a sudden, someone walks into a room -- particularly a male -- and you see him jar. Do you see the phone ring and he jars from the phone. Suddenly crying or suddenly not being able to sleep. Behavioral signs are key. Look for physical signs. Your child has a tough time sitting. You notice bloody underwear. You notice that your child feels or says that he can't sleep at night. Headaches are often big. It could be a sudden change in appetite. Emotional signs. He's far more irritable that normal, but it lasts every day for two weeks. You notice depression. You notice stress. You notice that all of a sudden, he has an inability to focus. What you are looking for is something that is different than your child and continues and becomes more intense. When you have a doubt or an instinct, that only parents have, that something is wrong with my child, pick up the phone and get the help of a mental health professional. It will help you sleep at night. If your child does have a problem, you will be able to get him the help that he needs.

Educational Psychologist Michele Borba, EdD, shares advice on the common signs and symptoms that often indicate that a child has been sexually abused

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Michele Borba, EdD

Educational Psychologist

Michele Borba, EdD is a Today Show contributor and recipient of the National Educator Award. She is recognized for her practical, solution-based parenting strategies and is an expert of bullying. Michele is the author of 22 books including Building Moral Intelligence and No More Misbehavin’. She appears as an expert on shows such as Dr. Phil, The View, and CNN and is an advisory board member for Parentsmagazine. 

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