Child sexual abuse is one of the most prevalent public health issues facing society today.
One in 10 children will be the victim of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. There is an estimated 42 million adult survivors of sexual abuse living in the United States today. Child sexual abuse takes many forms, and they aren’t just physical. At its core, sexual abuse is any sexual act between an adult and a minor, or between two minors when one exerts power over the other. It also includes non-contact acts such as exhibitionism, exposure to pornography, and voyeurism.
Child sexual abuse can occur anywhere. It happens in places like homes, neighborhoods, schools, and youth sports environments, but it also occurs online, such as child pornography or communicating in a sexual manner by phone or internet.
To prevent abuse, we have to break through the stigma and shame and talk about how it happens.
The statistics and facts can help you understand what child sexual abuse is, the risk factors and consequences for survivors, and how to identify and report suspected abuse.
The health and social impacts of child sexual abuse on a survivor last a lifetime and affect us all socially and financially.
Child grooming is a deliberate process by which offenders gradually initiate and maintain sexually abusive relationships with victims in secrecy.
Learn more about identifying and reporting sexual abuse here.