Sexualised Behaviour

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MindEd provides free mental health e-learning for anyone who works or volunteers with children, teenagers or young people. The MindEd programme includes free online CAMHS training, counselling courses and mental health resources for teachers and health professionals.

This session focuses on identifying and responding to sexualised and inappropriate behaviour in children and young people.

  • Sexualised behaviour refers to inappropriate behaviour in children with a sexual content which is not within normal limits or appropriate for the child's age and development. Self stimulation in children is not concerning behaviour.
  • There are three reasons for concern about sexualised behaviour:
    • It may indicate that the child has been, or is being, sexually abused.
    • It may place the child at risk.
    • It may harm other children.
  • Responding to sexualised behaviour will involve the person who first observes the child. The person should seek advice on proceeding with a referral.
  • It is important to find out from a child, who is showing sexualised behaviour, where they had learnt about this behaviour; this might include having seen or having experienced it. It is usually, but not always, possible to trace the origins of sexualised behaviour.
  • Therapeutic intervention is successful for many children.

Access the full MindEd session here.
Content provided by MindEd. Author: Danya Glaser. Published: March 2014. Review: March 2017.

Now read about Safeguarding Children - How to Recognise Abuse or a Child at Risk

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Document ID:
29123 (v2)
Last Checked:
09 February 2016
Next Review:
08 February 2019

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