Children and Sexual Abuse and Assault
Child sexual abuse includes:
- any sexual act between an adult and a minor, or between two minors, when one exerts power over the other
- forcing, coercing or persuading a child to engage in any type of sexual act
- non-contact acts such as exhibitionism, exposure to pornography, voyeurism, and communicating in a sexual manner by phone or Internet
3 out of 4 children who have been sexually assaulted were victimized by someone they knew well.
Emotional and mental health problems are often the first consequence and sign of child sexual abuse.
- Children who are sexually abused are at significantly greater risk for later posttraumatic stress and other anxiety symptoms depression and suicide attempts.
- These psychological problems can cause significant disruptions in normal development and often have a lasting impact, leading to dysfunction and distress well into adulthood
- Behavioral problems, including physical aggression occur frequently among sexually abused children and adolescents
- Child sexual abuse has been linked to higher levels of risk behaviors
If you think your child may have been sexually assaulted, talk to your child, listen to your child, take your child to the doctor.
Susan B. Anthony Project staff can help you and support children and their parents through this process.
Facts and statistics on children and sexual assault (from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report Child Maltreatment, 2010).
- 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse
- 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident
For more information on child sexual assault go to www.d2l.org