Signs of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)

Children often don't tell when they've been abused. So you need to be aware of some signs of possible sexual abuse.

Signs of CSA:

The following are behavior changes that may occur in children who have been sexually abused:

  • Having a fear of certain people or even of going certain places
  • "sexy" behavior towards adults or other children or advanced sexual knowledge for their age
  • Coming up with different names for their private parts
  • Problems in school, bad grades, behavior problems, or acting out
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, or activities
  • Bedwetting
  • Eating problems or changes in eating behaviors: eating very little or overeating
  • Hostility, aggressive behaviors, mood swings, depression
  • Talking about a new or older friend
  • You find toys or other gifts from an unknown source
  • Drug or alcohol problems
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
If you suspect CSA, call the police. You can ask your child if anyone has touched them in a way they didn't like, or if someone forced them to do something they didn't like.

If your child discloses abuse, it's important to stay calm and believe your child. Tell them that it's not their fault and that they didn't do anything wrong.

Protect your child by keeping them away from the abuser.

Call the police. You can also call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). Website: