Child Education AdvocacyChild Education Advocacy InformationContact UsSitemap

Child Education Advocacy > What Is Sexual Abuse?

What Is Sexual Abuse?

What is sexual abuse? Sexual abuse is the unwanted sexual contact, or molestation, between one person to another. Often, sexual abuse is categorized as something an adult does to a minor, though children can suffer sexual abuse at the hands of other minors, such as siblings, neighbors, and family members. What is sexual abuse? Sexual abuse is something that happens in one out of every four girls. Sexual abuse is often something that happens in the girl's own home. Statistically, it is far more likely for a family member or close family friend to molest children.

What is sexual abuse? There are four different types. Sexual assault is the touching of children's genitals for sexual gratification, and includes vaginal, oral, and anal penetration. Sexual molestation is a term used to define activity that is meant for sexual gratification but does not include penetration. Sexual exploitation is a term used for exploiting a child sexually, like child prostitution or child pornography. Sexual grooming is the preliminary stage to the other three, and involves a sexual predator meeting and preparing a child for later sexual activity. Despite all the horror stories you hear about strangers kidnapping children, or strangers luring children via the Internet, sexual grooming most often takes place between a trusted, known adult and a child.

What is sexual abuse? It is ignoring the child's legal, mental, and emotional inability to consent to any sexual act. In the United States, statutory rape laws are in affect until a child is between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, depending on the state. This means that any sexual activity with a child below the legal age is considered an act of sexual abuse, rape, or sexual assault.

What is sexual abuse? These are the signs: unexplained injuries on the body, especially around the thighs, breasts, hips, and genital regions; torn or stained clothing or underwear; pregnancy; sexually transmitted diseases; depression; suicidal or self-destructive behavior; drug and alcohol abused; hyper-sexuality in children.

The long-term physical, mental, and emotional affects of sexual abuse can be utterly devastating. For example, internal organs can be damaged by sexual abuse, which can lead to infertility for girls. In extreme cases, it will lead to internal bleeding and death. There is no set pattern of psychological symptoms for sexually abused children, or adults who were once sexually abused, but it is not uncommon for victims to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or something similar.