From 10-20 percent of children have sexual contact with an adult - usually not a stranger - before they are 18. And most of them will never tell anyone...
What is Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse of children may range from exhibitionism, kissing, fondling, and sexual touching to oral sex and anal intercourse and, in the case of girls, vaginal intercourse (Knudsen, 1991). By definition, any form of sexual contact between an adult and a child is abusive, even if force or physical threat is not used, since children are deemed incapable of voluntarily consenting to sexual activity with adults (Finkelhor, 1979). As many as 88% of incidents of sexual abuse are never reported.
The Criminal Sexual Conduct Law
The law is not always easy to understand. However, any person who has had sexual penetration or sexual contact with a child under the age of 16 and who is at least two years older than the child is guilty of criminal sexual conduct. The law also includes sexual contact with a child under the age of 18 by a person who has a "significant relationship" with the victim. This could mean a parent, guardian or relative. We are challenging abusers, those at risk to abuse, and their friends and families to reach out for help. For more information about healthy sexual development in children, warning signs for abuse, or resources in your community you can visit the STOP IT NOW! website. Or call toll-free helpline at 1 888-PREVENT (773-8386)
Adolescent Sexual Assault
- Nearly one half of all rapes in the United States are perpetrated against adolescents.
- Two thirds of adolescent victims are assaulted by an acquaintance.
- Verbal threats and fists are the most common means of force used in these assaults.
- One fourth of adolescent rape victims will sustain injuries from the assault.
- The most common circumstances of adolescent sexual assault involved a social encounter with the assailant
...But many children do grow up to lead healthy, normal lives with the right kind of help.
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