Rape Crisis & Sexual Assault Services
Building a Community Free of Sexual Violence
If you are worried about a child – call Rape Crisis 24 hours a day/ seven days a week at 706-724-5200 or 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
What is child sexual abuse?
All sexual touching between an adult and a child is sexual abuse. Sexual touching between children can also be sexual abuse when there is a significant age difference (often defined as 3 or more years) between the children or if the children are very different developmentally or size-wise. Sexual abuse does not have to involve penetration, force, pain, or even touching. If an adult engages in any sexual behavior (looking, showing, or touching) with a child to meet the adult’s sexual needs or interest, it is sexual abuse.
Most often child sexual abuse is a gradual process and not a single event. By learning the early warning signs and how to effectively step in and speak up, sexual abuse can be stopped before a child is harmed. Adults must take the primary responsibility for preventing child sexual abuse by addressing any concerning or questionable behavior which may pose a risk to a child’s safety.
Child Sexual Abuse includes harmful contact and non-contact behaviors
Abusive physical contact or touching includes:
Non-contact sexual abuse includes:
As well as the activities described above, there is also the serious and growing problem of people making and downloading sexual images of children on the Internet. To view sexually abusive images of children is to participate in the abuse of a child, and may cause someone to consider sexual interactions with children as acceptable.
A Warning Sign is a chance for caring adults to recognize possible risk and to take action to protect children.
Warning Signs in Children and Adolescents of Possible Child Sexual Abuse
Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent:
Signs more typical of younger children:
Signs more typical in adolescents:
Physical warning signs:
Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare. If you see these signs, bring your child to a doctor. Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.
[Resources courtesy of Stop It Now]