What is childhood sexual abuse?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2022 | Survivors - Resources & Help

Many Florida residents are survivors of childhood sexual abuse. These horrific acts of violence can take many forms. Survivors have the right to hold their abusers accountable for the harm they suffered.

What is childhood sexual abuse?

Childhood sexual abuse involves any type of sexual activity with a child perpetrated by an adult or older child. Children cannot give consent and do not give consent when abuse takes place. Sexual abuse of a child also often involves exploitation and threats or the use of force against the victim.

Child sexual abuse can take on many different forms. A child can even be the victim of sexual abuse if the abuser has not actually made physical contact with them.

How many people have admitted to suffering childhood sexual abuse?

There have been surveys done on childhood sexual abuse that ask adults if they have suffered before reaching the age of 18. On average, 20% of people have reported being sexually abused before the age of nine. This equates to one out of four women and one out of six men having reported being sexually abused as children.

What are examples of childhood sexual abuse?

Many people automatically think of rape as being the most common form of childhood sexual abuse. However, it’s much broader than that as abuse can take place even if the abuser never actually touches the child.

Child sexual abuse involving touching includes the following behaviors:

  • Fondling a child’s private parts
  • A child being forced to touch the abuser’s private parts
  • Penetration of a child’s mouth, vagina or anus

Examples of child sexual abuse that doesn’t involve touching include the following:

  • Taking sexually explicit photos of a child
  • Exposing oneself to a child
  • Showing a child pornographic material