Child Sexual Abuse Basics

What is child sexual abuse?

There are many forms of child sexual abuse.  Some involve touch.  Others do not.  Some forms of abuse include:

  • Exposing one’s sexual body parts to a child

  • Sexual conversations with a child

  • Sending sexual emails, videos, or texts to (i.e., “sexting”) a child

  • Touching a child in a sexual manner – on any part of their body

  • Oral, vaginal, or anal sex with a minor who cannot give consent

  • Making, owning, or sharing images or videos of children that are sexually suggestive or explicit

  • Forcing a child to engage in any kind of sexual behavior

  • Leaving a child alone with someone who has a history of sexually abusing others

  • Helping someone else arrange to sexually abuse a child (trafficking)

How common is child sexual abuse?

The truth is – we can’t say with absolute accuracy.  Some reports indicate that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by age 18.  Other research suggests those numbers are otherwise.

What we can say with certainty is: The sexual abuse of one child is too many!

Here are some websites where you can learn more about child sexual abuse statistics: