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Over the last few years, many high profile instances of child sexual abuse have come to light. The allegations have come against many people and organizations, including:
However, it is important to know that the problem is much more widespread than the stories that make the news. Child sexual abuse happens every day and in many communities. In many cases, the abusers are known to the victims – they are friends and family.
Today, we want to bring you some statistics. We want to arm you with the tools you need to keep your kids safe, and we want you to know where to turn if you suspect your child has been abused.
Every nine minutes in this country, child protective services finds evidence that child sexual abuse has occurred. Did you know that nearly one out of every ten children will be sexually abused before they reach their 18th birthday?
Those numbers are likely lower than the actual number of instances. In many cases, victims of child sexual abuse never report what has happened to them. In some cases, they may not even realize they have been abused in the first place.
According to RAINN, 93% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are known to their victims. Sexual assault is rarely perpetrated by strangers.
Many people think that sexual abuse of children only includes penetration of the vagina or anus. However, that is only one aspect of sexual abuse. It can also include:
It needs to be stated that children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults, even if they willingly go along with the activity or initiate sexual contact. Adults have the responsibility to stop any and all sexual activity that arises with a child.
Children who have been victims of sexual abuse are more likely to have long-lasting mental health impacts:
A person who experienced rape or attempted rape when they were adolescents is 13.7 times more likely to experience rape or attempted rape when they are in their first year of college.
If you suspect that your child has been sexually abused, you need to contact the police immediately and remove your child from an abusive situation. Seek help from a counselor who is specially trained to help victims of child sexual abuse and consider scheduling a consultation with an injury lawyer to explore what damages may be recoverable.