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One Life at a Time

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
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Choose Respect
Choose Respect


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Warning Signs that Your Child May Have Been Sexually Molested


Zero Tolerance, Scotland

  • Sleep disturbances, nightmares, won’t/can’t sleep alone, problems getting to sleep
  • Preoccupation with sexually explicit knowledge that is inappropriate for child’s developmental age
  • Behavioral re-enactments of molestation (more likely with children under age 6)
  • Difficulty relaxing (irritable, panicky, clingy)
  • Exaggerated startle response (jumpy)
  • Wavering between withdrawal, friendliness and aggressive outbursts
  • Trauma specific fears (refusal to visit someone or somewhere that s/he has previously enjoyed) and/or fears of the mundane (of the darkness, strangers, being alone, being outside, being away from you, animals)
  • Deliberate avoidance behavior (school absenteeism, "sick" when time to go to church, ball practice, etc.)
  • Regressive behaviors to earlier developmental stages (bedwetting, thumb-sucking)
  • Loss of ability to enjoy previously enjoyable activities
  • Withdrawal from friends/playmates and usual activity

Indiana is a mandatory report state (IC 31-35-5-1) in regard to child abuse and neglect. If you suspect that your child has been abused, you are required to report the abuse to your county Child Protective Service (CPS) and/or the State Police. You may also want to contact your local rape advocacy center and request that a specially trained advocate be present with you for your support.

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