Child Sexual Abuse Warning Signs and Resources

If you're worried that your child is being sexually abused, look for the following possible warning signs:

  • Changes in behavior: withdrawal, fearfulness, crying without provocation
  • Night sweats with screaming or shaking, and nightmares
  • Regression to more infantile behavior: bedwetting, thumb sucking
  • Loss of appetite or other eating problems
  • Poorly explained injuries: bruises, rashes, cuts, genital pain or bleeding
  • Sudden reluctance to be alone with a certain person
  •  Unusual interest in or knowledge of sexually related matters; inappropriate expression of affection

"They often won't tell you straight up that something is happening to them, because they've been threatened, they may be ashamed, or they may not want to talk to you about it," Dr. Phil says. "Think about these warning signs and ask questions. Create a dialogue if you're worried about what's going on with a child."

For more information and to learn additional warning signs, visit these websites: If you believe you need immediate assistance, please call your local emergency number or the mental health crisis hotline listed in your local phone book's government pages. Because does not operate, supervise, or exercise any control over any of the therapists, resources or referral services listed, it makes no representations or warranty whatsoever, either expressed or implied, regarding any information or advice provided by these referral services. In no event shall it, Dr. Phil or the producers of the show be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on information provided by these therapists, resources or referral services.

Childhelp USA's National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-422-4453 (1-800-4ACHILD)

Rape Abuse & Incest National Network
1-800-656-4673 (1-800-656-HOPE)

National Domestic Violence/Abuse Hotline
1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE) 1-800-787-3224 TTY

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Psychological Association

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Medline Plus 

National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

TELL DR. PHIL YOUR STORY: Life in crisis?

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