Signs of Sexual Abuse in a Toddler

Millions of children are sexually abused each year in the United States. In fact, 10 percent of adult men and 25 percent of adult women remember sexually abused during their childhood, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Most victims of sexual abuse are between the ages of 8 and 12, but younger children, including toddlers, also became a victim. Children often do not report sexual harassment to parents because they are embarrassed or threatened not to tell. You might see some change in your child, however.

Personality Changes

A child is being sexually abused were suddenly able to display characteristics of a personality not previously seen. For example, your child may seem insecure or anxious, depressed, according to the New York University Langone Medical Center. Confident kids could also be a sticky or withdrawn. Some victims of sexual abuse suffered from low self-esteem and may have difficulty making friends their age bracket.

Behavior Change

A young boy who was sexually abused often will experience a change in behavior as a result of the abuse. Little kids, in particular, tend to start acting in ways that are age inappropriate. For example, he may start to suck their thumbs or into wetting my pants or sleeping even though he was already a trained toilet, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Changes in sleep patterns may also, with the toddlers have difficulty sleeping or having a regular nightmare.

Sexual Behavior

A toddler who suffered sexual abuse can also start showing some of the sexual behavior. For example, he may be acting sexual acts with stuffed animals or other toys or maybe draw sexual acts, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Small children can also masturbate frequently or try to start sexual behaviour with friends or their brother.


A young victim of sexual abuse may suddenly seem afraid certain people or situations, including avoiding situations where she will face her perpetrator. They may fear or even undress at the right time, such as for bathing, or seem afraid to see the doctor or being examined by a health professional, according to Langone Medical Center. Some children also become scared or go to the bathroom even though success before.

Physical Signs

Physical signs rarely occur in cases of child sexual abuse, according to the Stop It Now! the organization. However, several possible indications of sexual abuse include rectal or vaginal discharge; pain or itching in the genital area; Frequent urinary tract infections or sore throat; pain during urination or defecation; and redness, bleeding or bruising in the genital or anal area. Some of the victims of harassment also began to complain of physical ailments such as headaches or stomach aches.