Possible Life Span Signs and Symptoms Associated with Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Infancy and Early Childhood Under 4 Years
Fearful
• Night terrors Loneliness
• Shame
• Clinging behavior
Developmental delay
• Suspicious physical findings
• Staring blankly
• Mood swings
• Cruelty to others
• Whining
Withdrawn
• Secretive
• Daydreaming
• Sexual preoccupation

Middle and Late Childhood 5 – 10 Years
• Sudden onset of anxiety
• Depression
• Insomnia
• Conversion hysteria
• Weight gain/loss
• Sudden school failure
• Truancy
• Run-away
• Sudden irritability
• Excessive bathing
• Psychosomatic problems
• Suspicious physical findings
• Staring blankly
• Cruelty to others
• Mood swings
• Withdrawn
• Lying
• Cheating
• Secretive
• Daydreaming
• Sexual preoccupation
• Seductiveness

Early Adolescence 11 – 14 Years
• Guilt
Low self-esteem
• Isolation
• Poor body image
• Staring blankly
• Cruelty to others
• Mood swings
• Withdrawn
• Lying
• Cheating
• Aggression
• Secretive
• Daydreaming
• Sexual preoccupation
• Low sexual self-esteem
• Fear of homosexuality
Sexual abuse of younger children

Late Adolescence 15 – 17 Years
• Self-depreciation
• Prostitution
• Promiscuity
• Depression
Social isolation
• High rebellion
• Pregnancy
Venereal disease
Drug abuse
• Acting out
• Anorexia
• Aggression
• Seductiveness
• Sexual preoccupation
• Low sexual self-esteem
• Sexual abuse of younger children

Adult 18 Years +
• Figidity
• Conversion hysteria
• Promiscuity
• Prostitution
• Phobias
• Suicide attempt
• Psychotic behavior
• Low self-confidence
• Low self-esteem
• Guilty feelings of defenselessness
• Feelings of worthlessness
• Seductiveness
• Sexual preoccupation
• Sexual abuse of others

Remember that lists such as these should be carefully regarded. You will note that many of the behaviors might be associated with many other causes and in some instances can be associated with “normal” behavior. It is critical to carefully consider the full range of information about any case.

From: Dr. Pamela Langelier, Vermont Family Forensic Institute, 1989

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