What are the signs of sexual abuse?

Robin Sax, Attorney & Legal Analyst, shares advice on the common signs and symptoms that can indicate that a child has been sexually abused or molested
The Signs That A Child Has Been Sexually Abused or Molested
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

What are the signs of sexual abuse?

The number one sign of sexual abuse is if a kid says it. My first default that I suggest with parents is believe your kids first. Aside from them telling you, parents should look for noticeable changes in their behavior. Little kids, if they are wetting their pants more than they would, they are whining more, or very distance, they weren't eating the same. Teenagers, the same thing, gross drop in grades, increase in sexualized behavior, anything that doesn't fit into the parameters of what was once normal. Those are red flags that something is amiss. Parents need to trust their instincts. If they feel something is wrong with their child, something is probably wrong with their kid. Whether it is sexual abuse or not, it is something that makes them scratch their head and say, "Something is wrong." Take notice. Whether it is extreme, grades falling or alcohol and drug use, or lying or those kinds of behavior; or even behavior that is more clingy or touchy, not wanting to be alone. Those types of behaviors also may be signs.

Robin Sax, Attorney & Legal Analyst, shares advice on the common signs and symptoms that can indicate that a child has been sexually abused or molested


Expert Bio

More from Expert

Robin Sax

Attorney & Legal Analyst

Robin is a legal analyst for Fox11 Los Angeles (KTTV). She appears there daily offering legal insight and analysis as well as parenting and safety expertise.  She also regularly contributes her legal and parenting expertise to The TODAY Show, Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America, CNN, and HLN. She covers both the unknown and known high profile cases including Conrad Murray, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Casey Anthony, Jaycee Dugard, OJ Simpson and many more.

Robin is also a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney and Riverside County Deputy District Attorney who specialized in sex crimes against children. For over 15 years she prosecuted some of the most despicable defendants who committed the most heinous crimes, prosecuting hundreds of felony crimes including homicides, stalking, domestic violence, child sexual assault, and gang crimes. 

She is an author who has penned six books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Criminal Justice System and Predators and Child Molesters:  A Sex Crimes DA Answers 100 of the Most Asked Questions all of which draw on her vast experience as a prosecutor and victim right's advocate. Her powerful insights have regularly graced the pages of The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, People Magazine, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, The Los Angeles Times and the Women in Crime Ink blog.

In addition to advising numerous legal foundations, Robin regularly shares her valuable insight and expertise through speaking and teaching with members of the FBI, Los Angeles Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, and the California District Attorney’s Association. Robin has served as adjunct professor of Women and Crime at Cal State Los Angeles and lecturer on criminal law and the justice system in UCLA’s Paralegal Training Program.

More Parenting Videos from Robin Sax >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter