Physical Warning Signs

Physical signs often provide the proof that sexual abuse has occurred and give physicians  the ability to definitively diagnose sexual abuse. If you see any of the following signs, go directly to the emergency room of the hospital or call the office of your physician for an immediate appointment.
  • Bleeding, cuts, or bruising in the genital or anal area
  • Redness or rash in the genital or anal area
  • Problems walking or sitting
  • Torn or bloody underclothes
  • Pain during urination or bowel movement
  • Vaginal or penile discharge 
  • Genital infections and venereal disease 
  • Genital odors
  • Genital itching

Other physical signs may demonstrate the preoccupation of the child with his or her body after the body has suffered the intrusion of sexual abuse. These are not definitive signs. However, if they are present with some of the behavioral and emotional indicators, it is cause for strong suspicion.

  • Inability to control urinary and bowel function
  • Unexplained somatic symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches, frequent sore throats, frequent complaints of nausea, backache, pains in legs and joints, physical weakness
  • Numbness in body
  • Fear, dizziness, or nausea when see, hear, smell, touch something associated with abuse  
  • Pregnancy


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