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Facts about Sexual Abuse

  • Sexual abuse may or may not involve physical contact. It is any act that engages a child in an activity for sexual purposes.
  • Sexual abuse doesn’t discriminate. Any family, individual, economic class, ethnic group or religion can be affected.
  • Most sexually abused children are victimized by someone they know.
  • Sexual abuse is a crime, no matter what the relationship between the offender and victim.
  • Sexual abuse often continues because of insistence on secrecy through coercion or intimidation; or because of threats, bribes, or the unequal power between the offender and child.
  • A child may not be able to tell parents directly about abuse. The child may fear disbelief, punishment or family break-up, and may feel shame or a desire to protect the abuser, if that person is someone the child knows and trusts.
  • Children seldom lie about sexual abuse.