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What Are Signs My Child Has Been Sexually Abused at School?

March 13, 2024
Signs My Child Has Been Sexually Abused at School

Suspecting that your child is experiencing sexual abuse at school can be heartbreaking, enraging, and terrifying. You may be unsure of how to proceed; you don’t want to bring about false allegations, but neither do you want to risk prolonging the abuse. 

You may consider contacting a school sexual abuse attorney with your suspicions. You may also look for the following signs that could indicate sexual abuse is happening. 

Regressive Behaviors 

Children naturally grow out of certain behaviors, such as bed-wetting, sucking their thumb, or baby talk. If your child has returned to younger behaviors after growing out of them, this could indicate something stressful is happening in their life. If you don’t know of any obvious stressful events, such as changes in routines or family disruptions, your child could be experiencing hidden abuse at school. 

Mention of a Secret Shared With an Adult 

Adults should never ask children to keep secrets from their parents. If your child mentions that they share a secret with an adult, such as one of the staff members at their school, but that they can’t tell anyone what it is, you may be understandably concerned. This could indicate that sexual abuse is happening and that the perpetrator warned your child not to tell anyone. 

Knowledge of Sexual Behavior Beyond Their Age 

Children shouldn’t know about sexual activity beyond what they have been taught. If your child indicates that they have knowledge of sexual behavior beyond their developmental age, this could indicate that they are experiencing sexual abuse. However, due to the vast availability of video, social media, and friends with older siblings who may share social media, spend some time speaking with your child about their awareness. 

New or Unusual Fears

When children suddenly exhibit new fears about specific events or situations, they are often tied to a traumatic experience. If your child has begun showing any new fears, they may be experiencing abuse at school. Fears around touch, being with a certain person, or going to a certain place could specifically indicate sexual abuse. 

Sudden Mood Swings

If your child’s mood suddenly swings between rage, sadness, fear, or insecurity, they may be experiencing a stressful situation that they do not know how to handle. The emotions they experience from the abuse could come out at seemingly random times. The child may also begin to withdraw from you and your family without an obvious cause. 


High school-age children may not show the same signs of sexual abuse as younger children. In this older age group, self-injury is often a sign that the child is going through something stressful or traumatic that they are keeping hidden from you. They may also participate in risky behaviors, such as drug or alcohol use, as a coping mechanism for the abuse they are experiencing. 

Contact Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway P.C. Today for Guidance  

If you have any suspicions that your child is experiencing sexual abuse at school, don’t downplay them. In these cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Contact a school sexual abuse attorney as soon as possible. We’ll listen to your concerns, help you collect evidence of your suspicions, and guide you through the legal process. We may retain expert witnesses to support your case if we cannot find direct evidence of the abuse. 

Our child sexual abuse lawyers have specific experience with cases surrounding abuse in private and public schools. Contact Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. today by filling out our contact form or giving us a call at (800) 433-2408.