Parental Guidance: How to Know if Your Child or Teen Experienced Sexual Trauma #CP

Let's face it— the world can be a dangerous place. No matter how careful you are in raising your children, they still might fall victim to offenders, such as sexual offences.

This experience gives them stress and changes to their well-being. If you're not keen enough, you might've passed off these signs as your child's rebellious phase, halting their healing.

So, how will you know if they've experienced something unpleasant?

In this blog, we'll explore the signs for you to recognise and take action. Continue on reading to know more.

Image Credit: Yuris Alhumaydy |

They've changed their behaviour

Did you know that most victims of sexual offences undergo behavioural changes?

Yes— and if your child fell victim to it, you can easily see it in how they act towards others. 

They can be overly withdrawn, anxious, or unusually secretive. They might even become more aggressive and display inappropriate sexual behaviour for their age.

In short, your child will act completely the opposite of how they usually did. So, watch out.

Their bodies says it all

When it comes to sexual offences, offenders will always leave physical signs of the crime, no matter how "careful" they are.

What are these physical signs?

These may include the following.

  • Bruises

  • Bleeding

  • Injuries in the gential area

  • Frequent urinary tract infections and other gential issues

When you see these signs on your teen or child, you should calmly ask them how they got them. You should also seek medical assistance to prevent any worsening in their condition.

They avoid specific places or activities

When you've experienced something bad, you tend to avoid going to where it happened, right? If it's an activity, you also end up refraining from doing it. This is the same when it comes to your children.

They often avoid going to places or doing activities that remind them of the traumatic event. So, if your child suddenly hates going to the park without proper explanation, you might want to investigate further.

They often regress

Oftentimes, victims of secpxual offences may also regress in their behaviour.

But what is regression?

It's when your child or teen behaves in ways that aren't appropriate for their age.

For example, a teen wouldn't be sucking on their thumb or wet the bed, right? They also might become overly clingy to you. If they exhibit this type of behaviour, then your child might've experienced something they shouldn't have.

Their emotions will change

Children and teens who have experienced sexual offenses may engage in self-harm or express suicidal thoughts.

Other than changes in behaviour, your child may show emotional changes if they've experienced sexual trauma.

For example, their mood may abruptly change, or they may have sudden fear of certain people or places. In worst cases, they may also become depressed, leading to thoughts of self-harm.

Their academic performance will change

It's undeniable that children and teens crave attention and praise— and we give it to them when they've done good or achieved something remarkable.

However, when they suddenly changed for the worse, there might be a more serious reason for their decline. For example, they may suddenly be reluctant to go to school or give poor academic results. This may be asign that they've experienced something traumatic that they want to talk about.

Being a good parent means you'll have to be attentive to what your child experiences, good or bad. With this guide, you'll be able to spot signs that your child signifying that something bad happened that you need to take action for.

Karl Young

Part-time daddy and lifestyle blogger. Father of 2 boys under 2. Golfer, scare-fan, tea-lover, traveller, squash and poker player. I write on the @HuffPostUK

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