What are some of the signs and behavioral presentations exhibited by a sexually abused child?
Many of these characteristics can be exhibited at different times in a child's life from early childhood to later adolescence. Usually, sexual abuse is not a one-time event. It is generally a chronic and ongoing problem. Abused children often find themselves helpless in the situation. Unless the child is taken out of the environment, the abuse will continue. Sexual abuse of any child or adolescent is a vile thought but it does occur. Professionals and everyday people need be on heightened alert to such cases, and when they are suspected, an immediate report to the authorities is mandated. In some internationally adopted cases, the sexual abuse did not occur in the new environment but it occurred in the old orphanage. Institutions are magnets for child sexual predators. Abuse can be at the hands of the caregiver or at the hands of some of the older children within the orphanage. Sometimes adoptive parents are left to deal with the scars of sexual abuse created in the orphanage.
The information and advice provided is intended to be general information, NOT as advice on how to deal with a particular child's situation and or problem. If your child has a specific problem you need to ask your pediatrician about it - only after a careful history and physical exam can a medical diagnosis and/or treatment plan be made. This Web site does not constitute a physician-patient relationship.
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© George Rogu, M.D.
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