• A common myth is that child sexual abuse is perpetrated by strangers and pedophiles. But most people who sexually abuse children are our friends, partners, family members, and community members. About 93 percent of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser. Less than 10 percent of sexually abused children are abused by a stranger. With the rise of the internet and gaming platforms, predators get greater access to kids and will befriend them.
• Children are at heightened risk for sexual violence. Nearly 70 percent of all reported sexual assaults occur to children ages 17 and under.
• One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.
• 12.3 percent of women were age 10 or younger at the time of their first rape/victimization, and 30 percent of women were between the ages of 11 and 17.
• More than one-third of women who report being raped before age 18 also experience rape as an adult. Survivors of child sexual abuse are also more likely to experience rape and intimate partner violence in adulthood.
• 96 percent of people who sexually abuse children are male, 76 percent are married men, and 76.8 percent of people who sexually abuse children are adults.
• The younger the victim, the more likely it is that the abuser is a family member. Of those molesting a child under six, 50 percent were family members. Family members also accounted for 23 percent of those abusing children ages 12 to 17.
• Abusers tend to utilize a manipulative process called “grooming” in order to gain the family’s and victim’s trust, providing them with more access to the child. Grooming behaviors may include: Special attention, outings, and gifts • Isolating the child from others • Filling the child’s unmet needs • Filling needs and roles within the family • Treating the child as if he or she is older • Gradually crossing physical boundaries, and becoming increasingly intimate/sexual • Use of secrecy, blame, tricks and threats to maintain control.
• Child sexual abuse can have lifetime impacts on survivors—especially without support. It can impact educational outcomes, lead to heightened symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, higher suicidal rate, drug abuse, higher likelihood of teen pregnancy and chronic health issues.
• More than 90 percent of girls in juvenile justice systems self-disclose trauma. In fact, justice involved girls are victimized by sexual violence at an earlier average age, and for a longer average duration, than other forms of abuse.
• In primary care settings, physical or sexual abuse in childhood is reported by approximately 20 to 50 percent of adults; among patients with depression, irritable bowel, chronic pain, or substance abuse, prevalence of reported childhood physical or sexual abuse runs as high as 70 percent.
• Children who have experienced abuse often keep it a secret. One of the best ways to prevent child sexual abuse is by maintaining healthy, open relationships with children in your life—so they know you are a safe adult they can tell if something happens.
• Believe them—very few allegations of child sexual abuse are false. If a child discloses abuse, believe them, support them, and know the mandated reported laws in your community.
• Try to remain calm, so that the child doesn’t blame themselves for the abuse. If you react with anger, the child may change or recant their story to avoid the feeling that people are “angry at them” when abuse is still happening.
• Help set boundaries for children, and pay attention when you feel that other adults are crossing boundaries with children, like demanding physical touch (hugs, kisses), spending alone time with a child in a school or church setting. Help uphold and model boundaries and allow children to create boundaries for themselves.
• Make sure that your child is not talking with or getting to know someone online or offline that you do not know in real life. You can do this by monitoring their messages and apps on their phone, Listening secretly when they are playing online games and use parental controls on their game systems, phones and computers.
Our free online and in person protection conferences cover in detail all the ways you can monitor and keep your kids safe from online and offline predators. Please click here to see when our next conference is. If there are none scheduled, then you can request a summary of the information taught by requesting the free protection guidelines offered by Protect Your Children Inc. Request the summary guidelines by clicking here.
Copyright © 2021 Protect Your Children Inc - All Rights Reserved.