Pediatric Sexual Abuse

Pediatric Sexual Abuse

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Summary

Sexual abuse or child molestation is defined by Texas law as indecency, sexual contact or sexual harm of anyone 17 years old or younger.

Expanded overview

Sexual abuse is any form of indecency (offensiveness), sexual contact (including touching) or sexual harm to anyone under the age of 18.

The perpetrator does not need to come into physical contact with the victim, as indecency includes pornography, exposing/exhibitionism or obscene phone calls/texts/videos/messages. Texas law also protects children from sexual conduct that will harm their emotional, mental or physical well-being.

Symptoms

Emotional signs and physical symptoms of sexual abuse often go hand in hand, but will differ between age groups and situations. They include:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Afraid to shower or get changed
  • Aggressive physical or sexual behavior
  • Anxious or clingy
  • Bruises or unexplained injuries
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Falling asleep in class
  • Genital bruising or tearing
  • Harms him or herself
  • Keeps to him or herself
  • Nightmares or problems sleeping
  • Obsessive or risk-taking behavior
  • Refuses to be touched or jumpy
  • Soils clothes or wets the bed
  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Unexplained blood in undergarments or on sheets

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