1. Home
  2.  - 
  3. Childhood Sex Abuse
  4.  - 3 sudden changes in your child that may indicate sexual abuse

3 sudden changes in your child that may indicate sexual abuse

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2023 | Childhood Sex Abuse |

Children and teens are in tricky stages of life, constantly developing and evolving as they grow. As a result, it is not uncommon for them to undergo many changes as they discover themselves.

However, not all changes are benign, normal steps in the growing process. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an adult or adults sexually abuse or assault one in every nine girls and one in 53 boys below the age of 18. It is imperative to recognize that sudden shifts in children’s behavior may be signs of something far more sinister.

1. Attitude shifts

With all the chemical and life changes they undergo, it is not uncommon for children to undergo a rebellious or sullen stage. However, if it is too sudden, it may indicate a deeper issue. Regression to childhood behaviors, such as speaking like a small child, or extreme perfectionist behavior (when previously normal) may also be of concern.

2. Emotional shifts

Similarly, sudden aggressiveness, rage, sadness, sullenness or a lack of interest in previously enjoyed pursuits for seemingly no reason may signal a problem. Children displaying extreme outbursts at random or swiftly shifting moods is a potential warning sign. Emotional distress may also show up as random, unexplained illnesses, such as stomach pains or headaches.

3. Self-view shifts

How people, children and adults, view themselves inevitably undergoes major shifts throughout life. However, a drastic change, especially a negative one, can also be a point of worry. Children who suddenly express that they hate themselves or feel dirty or disgusting may feel so because of a violation.

Sudden shifts in children can indicate sexual assault or betrayal by an adult. Even if they do not, they may also be signs of a psychological or mental illness. By investigating the causes of these shifts, parents may help save their children.