Common Symptoms of Sexually Abused Children

Children exhibiting any of the following symptoms may be victims of sexual abuse. In some cases, children may have symptoms or conditions that are not abuse related. Accurate assessment and investigation are required to determine when children are being sexually abused. Reporting concerns of child sexual abuse to appropriate agencies will initiate investigation by the relevant professionals to make such determinations.

  • statements of children describing sexual acts
  • highly sexualized behaviors
  • having bathroom accidents, nightmares
  • open masturbation by children
  • openly accessible pornographic materials  ( magazines, dvds, pictures, television)
  • sex toys in plain view and accessible to children


Child protection workers receive specialized training to investigate and make determinations of child maltreatment.  If you observe children that you suspect are or have been neglected or abused, make a report to the appropriate humans services department or law enforcement.