Skip to content
Previous Previous   |   Next   Previous

Know the signs: Sexual Exploitation

Possible signs of child victims

  • A non-custodial adult is always present, and the victim looks to them to answer questions and/or is protective of them.  This adult tends to isolate the child.
  • Withdraw from family/friends
  • Sudden increase in money
  • Uses language or slang common that is highly sexualized
  • Talks about losing property
  • Is a chronic runaway
  • Has new, frequent or unexplained physical injury
  • Lies about age or identity
  • History of drug and/or alcohol use
  • History of involvement with law enforcement
  • History of traumatic loss of consciousness, broken bone, or significant wound
  • History of sexual activity with more than 5 partners
  • History of a sexually transmitted infection

Possible physical signs of child sexual exploitation

  • Tattoos or brands — especially in unusual locations such as the back of the neck, underarm, lower back, inner thigh; possibly with a trafficker's name
  • Current sexually transmitted disease(s) including chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Unwilling pregnancy
  • Signs of inflicted injuries, including bruises, lacerations, bite marks, cigarette burns, areas of hair loss due to hair pulling, scars, ligature marks
  • Signs of medical and/or physical neglect, including unhealed wounds, rashes or sore; deformities from poorly healed fractures; poor hygiene; dental disease; untreated or undiagnosed chronic disease such as asthma or diabetes; malnutrition
  • Genital and/or anal injuries
  • Complications of unsafe abortions
  • Other major trauma such as gunshot wounds, head injuries, abdominal trauma
  • Memory loss
  • Mental illnesses such as depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, panic attacks, dissociation
  • Signs of substance abuse and/or withdrawal

Previous Previous   |   Next   Previous