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Signs and Symptoms of Child Sexual Abuse

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The following information has been provided by SafeSport, a program of The United States Olympic Committee. SafeSport aims to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants of sport through education, resources, and training. The overall goal is to help members of the sport community recognize, reduce, and respond to misconduct in sport. For more information, please visit

Athletes rarely speak up about child sexual abuse. Instead, we often need to rely on other indicators that something might be going on in sport. One indicator of child sexual abuse includes sudden behavioral changes related to the training and competition.

  1. Losing enthusiasm for sport, even for competition
  2. Not wanting to practice
  3. Wanting to avoid contact with a particular individual -- such as a coach, assistant coach, or athletic trainer
  4. Having a sudden mood change, such as a violent emotional outburst
  5. Wanting to change teams, even though his or her friends are on their current team