What is Child Sexual Abuse?
When a child or young person is sexually abused, they’re forced or tricked into sexual activities.
They might not understand that what’s happening is abuse or that it’s wrong. And they might be afraid to tell someone.
Sexual abuse can happen anywhere! It happens in places like homes, neighbourhoods, schools, and youth sports environments, but it also occurs online, such as child pornography or communicating in a sexual manner by phone or internet.
Child sexual abuse is not the problem of just one socio-economic status, culture, race, religion, or gender. It impacts EVERY community and EVERY person across the globe.
90% of abused children know their abuser
People who abuse children look and act just like everyone else. Research shows that the greatest risk to children doesn’t come from strangers, but from people known to children. In fact, they often go out of their way to appear trustworthy, seeking out settings where they can gain easy access to children, such as schools, sports teams, faith communities.
It’s never a child’s fault they were sexually abused. It’s important to make sure children know this!
Forms of Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse takes on many forms and not all of them physical. It includes contact and non-contact acts.
- the sexual touching of any part of a child’s body, whether they are clothed or not
- using an object or body part to penetrate (rape) a child
- forcing a child to engage in sexual activities
- making a child undress or touch someone else
- exposing or flashing
- showing a child pornography
- making a child watch sexual acts
- making a child masturbate
- making, viewing, or distributing child abuse images or videos
- forcing a child to take part in sexual activities or conversations online or through a smartphone
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