INITIA Unit 2 4.2

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INITIAL REPLY 4.1
Children that have been exposed to sexually inappropriate material through witnessing, experiencing, or as a consequence of sexual exploitation may show behavioral signs. Some of the more common signs may include depression, anxiety, no desire to eat, and a likely withdrawal from normal everyday activities (U.S Department of Health and Services Child Abuse and Neglect, n.d). They may even show a sense of lethargy during the day. Other children may show a desire to be extremely compliant. These children may also begin to abuse drugs and/or alcohol as a means to forget and self-medicate (U.S Department of Health and Services Child Abuse and Neglect, n.d). Children may engage in self- mutilation and may show triggers of fear
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These children may begin to exhibit regressions in age appropriate behaviors and begin to suck their thumbs (U.S Department of Health and Services Child Abuse and Neglect, n.d). Children may also begin to show fear of darkness or bedtime. This may be because this is when the victimization occurred or because the child does not feel anyone is able to keep them safe at this time. Children may even begin to have thoughts of suicide. Children will keep the abuse secret usually out of fear of the perpetrator doing something more to them or their families or they are convinced no one will believe them (U.S Department of Health and Services Child Abuse and Neglect, n.d). Children may complain of physical ailments such as headaches, stomach aches, problems with bowels, urination issues, and/or complaints of pain in genital areas (U.S Department of Health and Services Child Abuse and Neglect, n.d). They may also experience drastic and sudden mood changes. Children may also exhibit behaviors through drawings. These may include drawing of the genitals, sexual activity, or they may show lack of identification through the lack of drawing in mouths, hands, eyes, or ears on the individuals in the drawing (U.S Department of Health and Services Child

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