Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Sexual Abuse: Signs and Symptoms
Signs of sexual abuse may not be apparent without an
examination of the genital area. These signs include:
Vaginal bleeding in a child before the beginning of
menstruation is abnormal, as are other vaginal or genital symptoms such as
sores, warts, pain, or unusual discharge. Abnormal vaginal bleeding may be
caused by physical or sexual abuse that injures the abdominal or vaginal area.
Vaginal bleeding that is caused by abuse often is the result of minor physical
injuries that will get better on their own or with home treatment.
You may feel uneasy if your child's doctor brings up the issue of
abuse. But doctors have a professional duty and legal
obligation to evaluate the possibility of abuse. It is important to consider
this, especially if there were no witnesses to the injury that caused the
child's vaginal bleeding.
If you think your child has been
sexually abused, call your child's doctor or contact the National Child Abuse Hotline and Referral Service at
June 13, 2013
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.