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Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Though parents would do anything to keep their children safe, the reality is that thousands of Houston children have experienced sexual abuse at their after-school programs, church youth groups, test prep academies, preschools, or sports programs. This abuse happens too frequently; the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas report that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused.

It is important for parents and guardians to recognize the early signs of sexual abuse so your child can receive the treatment and care they need. If you notice any of the following, contact a child abuse attorney immediately.

Psychological and Emotional Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network works with survivors of childhood sexual abuse to compile data and learn more about the long-term effects of sexual trauma. If you notice any of these effects, contact a Houston daycare injury lawyer to explore your options.

According to the NCTSN’s research, common effects of daycare sexual abuse include:

Withdrawn Behaviors

Children who have experienced sexual abuse may be afraid to reveal their trauma or may have been threatened by their abuser. As a result, children may withdraw from socialization and exhibit other antisocial behaviors (lack of communication, lack of speech, etc.).

Aggressive Behaviors

One of the most common reactions to experiencing sexual trauma is anger sublimated into aggressive or violent behaviors. If your child begins to hit, kick, or destroy persons or property (especially when they have never exhibited such behavior), it is possible that they have experienced sexual trauma.

Feelings of Shame (Believing the Body Is “Dirty”)

Children may also manifest their trauma through feelings of shame. They may believe that the abuse is their fault or that they have become “dirty” as a result. These feelings can take years of intensive therapy to address and overcome.

Night Terrors/Nightmares or Trouble Sleeping

Childhood sexual trauma does not only affect the mind; many children will experience physical manifestations of their trauma. Most commonly, parents will notice that their child is having issues relating to sleeping. This may look like an inability to fall/stay asleep, intense nightmares, or bedwetting.

Anxiety and Depression

The most common effect of sexual trauma for victims of all ages is anxiety and/or depression. No two victims will experience the exact same mood disorder, so it is important to take careful notice of any changes in your child’s behavior.


The most extreme (though tragically common) reaction to daycare sexual abuse is a child’s instinct to self-harm. If your child has attempted to harm themselves following their sexual abuse, contact a mental health crisis hotline or seek medical attention as soon as possible.

There are many different potential warning signs that your child has experienced sexual abuse at their daycare center. If you notice any abrupt changes in your child’s personality or behavior, it is important to contact a qualified childcare professional to get your child the medical or psychological treatment they require.

Seek Justice With the Texas Attorneys at Carabin Shaw

If your child has experienced sexual abuse at a Houston daycare center, contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

For nearly thirty years, the team of child abuse lawyers at Carabin Shaw have represented victims of sexual trauma and helped them to reclaim their damages in a daycare child abuse lawsuit. With our world-class team of sexual abuse attorneys in Houston and commitment to a “client-first” approach, we can help you and your child seek the justice you deserve.

Free Case Review

Our attorneys are proud to offer no-cost, no-obligation initial consultations to new clients. If you are interested in scheduling your free case review, call our office toll-free at 800-862-1260 to meet with the qualified Texas attorneys at Carabin Shaw.

Our English and Spanish-speaking staff are available day or night to address your questions or scheduling needs.

Visits with the Attorney are by appointment only. Main office San Antonio, Texas.

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