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What is child sexual abuse?

Date: July 22, 2013 Categories: Blog

“It could never happen to my family…” “Child sex abuse doesn’t exist in my neighborhood…”

There are a lot of misconceptions about child sexual abuse. Although we would like to believe that the children closest to us would never be subject to sex abuse, research shows that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18. Child sex abuse is a reality that adults should be knowledgeable of because it is so prevalent in our society. When we become aware of child sexual abuse, we are better equipped to protect children and hold perpetrators accountable. Child sex abuse can be pressuring a child to engage in sexual acts, but can also include non-contact acts, such as persuading a child to watch pornography or communicating in a sexual manner by phone or internet.

Child sexual abuse is traumatic for its victims and the effects of these agonizing experiences begin almost immediately. Not only does it foster drug and alcohol dependence, but it can also cause mental illness and other health issues, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder.

There are opportunities for adults to reduce the risk of sexual abuse.  Although it would be unhealthy to automatically assume everyone is a perpetrator, there are some precautions that you can take to ensure the safety of the children you care about. Think carefully about the safety of one-adult/one-child situations. Being aware of your surroundings in these situations is important to the safety of the children in your life. You can also set examples by being self-aware of the one-child/one-adult interactions you have. Monitoring internet use can also reduce the risk of sex abuse. 

The more aware we are in our communities, the less likely our children will be abused!

Many of the facts in this blog came from here.
For more information on child sexual abuse and child sexual abuse prevention, check out: