CHILD ABUSE HOT LINECHILD PROTECTION CENTER
CHILD PROTECTION CENTER
Services Sexual Abuse Treatment Sexual Abuse Red Flags

Sexual Abuse Red Flags

There are sometimes clear indicators of sexual abuse i.e. confessions, video or pictures and detailed disclosures. Most of the time, however, the signs are more ambiguous and difficult to prove. A good rule of thumb to START is to ALWAYS BELIEVE THE CHILD.  We would much rather have erred thinking a child who was not molested actually was than to not believe a child who has been victimized. Research shows this can be most devastating to the child and can hinder treatment greatly.  We recognize there are many circumstances where allegations of sexual abuse are unfounded i.e. divorce, revenge etc…but unfortunately there are also validated cases requiring help.

Because very few cases reveal clear evidence of abuse, we often rely on “red flags” or indicators which alert us to look for the possibility of a child being sexually exploited.  While none of these symptoms prove definite, the following are some things which require further scrutiny and possible reports to the child abuse hotline for further investigation.

  • Is the child behaving in a sexual manner which is not age appropriate? (i.e. dressing provocatively at a very young age)
  • Is the child exhibiting sexual behavior which is not developmentally appropriate? (school aged child touching self in class)
  • Is the child frequently masturbating or simulating sexual behaviors?
  • Is the child showing sexual behavior which they should not yet have exposure to (a 5 year old child simulating oral sex for example)
  • Does the child show changes in sexual behavior from usual ( wasn’t doing this last month or acts different when returning from other parent’s house in divorce situations.)
  • If there is sexual contact among children, is there a difference in age or size of the children?
  • Was there coercion or threats involved?
  • Is the child afraid to visit an adult?

 

Contact Info

Main Office:
Child Protection Center, Inc.
720 South Orange Ave.
Sarasota, Florida 34236
Phone: 941.365.1277
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Venice locations:
2210 S. Tamiami Tr.
Venice, Florida 34293
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6919 Outreach Way
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Arcadia, Florida 34266
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