Signs & Symptoms

Expected versus Concerning Sexual Behaviors of Children

This list is only to be used as a guideline. There is not one symptom or set of symptoms that would clearly indicate that a child has been sexually abused. Therefore, it is important to watch for any changes (increases or decreases) in your child’s behavior. When concerning behaviors last over days or weeks, occurs frequently, or with intensity, it is important to seek out a professional with expertise in the area of child sexual abuse for a thorough evaluation.

Expected or Natural Behaviors Concerning Sexual Behaviors
Asks about the genitals, breasts, intercourse, and babies Endless questions about sex.  Sexual knowledge too great for age
Plays doctor, inspecting others’ bodies Forces child to play doctor, to take off clothes
Boys and girls are interested in having/birthing a baby Displays fear or anger about babies or intercourse.
Show others his/her genitals Refuses to put on clothes. Exposes self in public after being corrected for behavior.
Touches/rubs own genitals when going to sleep, when tense excited or afraid Touches/rubs self in public or in private to the exclusion of normal childhood activities.
Plays house, may simulate all roles of mommy and daddy Imitates intercourse intercourse with another child.  Forcing sex on other child.
Talks about sex with friends. Talks about having a girl/boy friend Talks about sex and sexual acts a lot.  Repeatedly in trouble in regard to sexual behavior.                 
Wants privacy when in bathroom changing clothes Aggressive or tearful in demand for privacy.
Likes to hear or tell “dirty” jokes Still tells “dirty” jokes even after being corrected for behavior.
Looks at nude pictures Continuous fascination with nude pictures.

Additional Potential Signs of Abuse

  • Dramatic changes in sleep patterns or behavior
  • Running away
  • Cutting, burning, or causing pain to themselves
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Fear or resistance to a particular person or setting
  • Attempt or talk of suicide
  • Loss of interest in activities the child once enjoyed
  • Use or drugs or alcohol

Some child victims never show outward symptoms of trauma so it is essential that you have good communication with your child. Talk to your child about what to do if they feel uncomfortable with an adult or adolescent and take care not to leave your child alone in one child -one adult situations.

A Case Coordinator is available to speak with you about your concerns.
Please call Kristi House, Inc. (305) 547-6800

Other Outreach Activities

Community Fairs
Kristi House regularly participates in community fairs, expos, and special events.

Sant La Haitian Community Center in Miami, Florida serves as the primary resource center in the Haitian community. For several years a grant from the Public Health Trust Foundation enabled Kristi House to provide the community a bilingual, Creole-fluent representative to conduct sexual abuse prevention trainings, church outreach, and media interviews on a weekly basis. Unfortunately Additionally, services to clients are available at the Sant La Center, home, school, or community setting.


For more information, please contact: