Sexual abuse is the involvement of children in sexual activities that they cannot understand, for which they are not developmentally prepared, to which they cannot give informed consent, and/or that violate societal norms.
- Ranges from oral, genital, or anal contact; fondling; child pornography; prostitution; exhibitionism; and voyeurism
- 25% of perpetrators are parents, and 30% are nonparental relatives.
- Most children sexually abused will have no discernible physical injury.
- ~150,000 substantiated cases per year; most likely underestimate the incidence as these include only those cases reported
- Prevalence rates between 10% and 30%. The National Violence Survey reported 27% of adult women and 16% of adult men reported sexual abuse during childhood.
- Peak age of vulnerability: 7 to 13 years of age
- Girls are victimized more than boys, although abuse of boys is underreported.
- Single-parent households, domestic violence, parental substance abuse, and mental illness are risk factors.
- Children who experience other types of abuse are also more likely to be victimized sexually.
- Race and socioeconomic status do not appear to be risk factors for child sexual abuse.
- Risk factors for revictimization: younger aged children, more severe maltreatment, families with mental health and substance abuse problems and violence histories
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