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Signs of Sexual Abuse

Delaware sexual abuse lawyer fight for children who are victims of sexual abuse and offer warning signs for parents.Sexual abuse is one of the most heinous crimes against children. Many different terms are used to describe sexual abuse including molestation, rape, and assault, but not all sexual abuse involves touching or sexual contact. Using children to film pornography or indecent exposure of genitals to a child are also forms of sexual abuse.


Every parent’s nightmare is that their child falls victim to a sexual predator. To prevent sexual abuse from happening, parents must be vigilant in monitoring their children’s activities and who their children spend time with.

It is important to investigate an organization or activity before signing up. Ask if there is a policy against a child being left alone with a single adult. This should never be the case. Show up to observe activities and make your presence known as predators often target lonely and seemingly neglected children.

Be wary of adults that exhibit tendencies of wanting to spend time alone with a child. They may claim to be nurturing a special relationship, but it is also a sign of predatory grooming. Adults who break household rules such as giving candy against the parents’ wishes or letting a child have fun doing things that are not allowed in secret are also creating situations that no one is supposed to know about. Your child should always be able to tell you everything with full trust. Open lines of communication are crucial to being able to protect your child.

Recognizing Signs of Sexual Abuse

A child who is being abused may exhibit signs of stress, however, sudden changes of behavior could also be due to other sources such as a death in the family, divorce, or other anxiety inducing event. If your child shows more than one or many of the following signs, you should talk to your child and investigate further.

Small children may

  • Have nightmares and sleep issues
  • Revert to younger child behaviors such as bed wetting or thumb-sucking
  • Have new words for their private parts
  • Be reluctant to remove their clothing for bathing or bed time
  • Want to play sexual games with other children or with their toys
  • Have soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

Older children may

  • Suddenly have access to pocket money, new toys, or gifts
  • Have trouble eating and sleeping
  • Have sudden mood swings including rage and fear, or seem insecure and withdrawn
  • Think of their own bodies as repulsive or bad
  • Hints at topics that could provoke a discussion about sexual issues
  • Have a sudden new fear of certain people or places
  • Refer to a new older friend
  • Dream, draw or write about scary or sexual images

Teenagers traumatized by sexual abuse may also

  • Cut or burn themselves
  • Become sexually promiscuous
  • Run away from home
  • Become depressed or suicidal
  • Abuse drugs or alcohol
  • Exhibit sudden changes in appearance and grooming

A child can never consent to sexual activity. Filing a civil claim may seem as if it prolongs the trauma for the victim, but in fact holding abusers accountable can be a healing process. It puts the power back in the victim’s court and shows they are not helpless.

Contact a Delaware Sexual Abuse Lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. if You Suspect a Child Has Been Abused

The dedicated Delaware sexual abuse lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. have helped many victims of sexual abuse obtain justice and compensation. Contact us online or call 302-656-5445 to schedule a confidential consultation about your case or contact us online. We represent clients in Wilmington, Georgetown, Dover, and throughout Delaware.