Childhood Sexual Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse is a form of child abuse where sexual activity occurs in the presence of a minor. While it can include sexual intercourse, it doesn't necessarily require sexual contact.
Child sex abuse can include:
  • Flashing/Exposing oneself to a minor
  • Fondling
  • Masturbating in front of a minor
  • Forcing a minor to masturbate
  • Sexual phone calls, text messages, and/or interactions
  • Producing, owning, or sharing pornographic images with/of a child
  • Sex Trafficking/Prostitution
  • Any kind of sexual contact, including oral, anal, and/or vaginal intercourse
Statistics: 
  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse at the hands of an adult. 
  • A child is sexually assaulted in the U.S. every 9 minutes.
  • 2 out of 3 children who experience sexual abuse are between the ages of 12 and 17. 
  • Girls between 16 and 19 years old are at 4x higher risk of experiencing rape and/or sexual assault.
  • 93% of survivors know their abuser. 59% of perpetrators are acquaintances (like family friends), 34% are family members, and 7% are strangers.
  • Child Protective Service reports that about 88% of child sexual abuse cases have a male perpetrator.
Warning Signs: 
If you are an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse: You may also experience guilt and shame for experiencing pleasure during the assault(s) or blame yourself for the abuse. You may struggle with intimacy and relationships, particularly in the form of flashbacks and having trouble creating healthy boundaries. You may have a low self-esteem, which can have greater impacts on other areas of your life. Remember, abuse is NEVER the fault of the survivor. ​For more information visit this page for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
What you can do if you're experiencing, have experienced, or suspect a child is experiencing child sexual abuse:
  • Talk to the child. Try to use a non-threatening tone, be direct, and reassure them that they are not in  in trouble for sharing (check out this website for more tips on talking to a child experiencing abuse).
  • Get the child to a safe place and report the abuse, if appropriate (depending on where you live and who you are, you may be required by law to report the abuse).
  • Call the Childhelp National Abuse Hotline (800-422-4453) to hear options and for guidance on reporting child abuse. 
  • Call an advocate (like the ones at Helping Hands)! We're here to listen and to provide you with options towards safety and healing. See below for a full list of resources.
  • Document any signs of the abuse, such as cuts, bruises, text messages, etc. Store them in a safe place where the abuser can't find them, such as a separate email account. 
reducing your child's risk of experiencing sexual assault:
  • Ask about your child's life often. Show an interest in what they do, who they talk to, and what they learn on a day-to-day basis.
  • Become familiar with who your child spends time with (both children and adults). By showing an interest, they will be more likely to speak up should something go wrong.
  • Diligently screen caregivers before you allow them to care for your child.
  • Talk about sexual violence and healthy relationships from an early age. You can use examples from the media and/or start the conversation with One Love's guide to talking to young people about relationships.
  • Teach your child how to talk about their bodies, relationships, and boundaries. Set aside time where they have your undivided attention and remind them that they will not get in trouble for disclosing things to you.
  • If your child plays online or video games, have them play in a space where you can monitor them. Remind them not to give away identifying information (like addresses) or to remove their clothes online, even if they think they know who is on the other side of the chat (learn more about sextortion here). No age is too young to start the conversation!
You can read more about protecting your child here.
Looking for more information about Sexual Assault? Click here. 

Resources

cgcac.jpg

CGCAC provides services to suspected victims of child abuse, to minimize the trauma of reporting and law enforcement needs (i.e. interviewing suspected victims of child abuse, medical evaluations, mental health treatment referrals, coordination of other victim services).

RAINN & The National Sexual Assault Hotline

Hotline:1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN provides online chat services as well as the national sexual assault hotline (note that the RAINN hotline will direct you to your nearest sexual assault center, such as Helping Hands).

Childhelp's goal is to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. Childhelp focuses its efforts on prevention, intervention, treatment, and community outreach. 

Helping Hands--a non-profit in Hood River, Oregon--supports all survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and/or stalking through safety, shelter, advocacy, education, and outreach. Call us if you have questions, need guidance for yourself or a friend, or just need someone to listen.

Helping Hands Against Violence

Hotline: 541-386-6603

SAFETY ALERT: If you are in danger, please call 911, your local hotline 541-386-6603, or
the National Domestic Violence Hotline  1-800-799-7233. If concerned about a computer trail, exit this site now. 

© 2019 By HHAV

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