Professional answers to frequently asked questions on Child Sexual Abuse. Learn more and put knowledge into action
Child Sexual Abuse is a crime. A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual acts or imitation of such acts, by an adult or older youth that has power over them. .Sometimes the child won’t understand that what’s happening to them is abuse. They may not even understand that it’s wrong. Child Sexual Abuse does not need to include physical contact between a perpetrator and a child, and it can happen online.
Children are usually sexually abused in places where they should be safe: home, school, community centers such as churches, mosques, sports facilities, play-grounds..
A perpetrator does not have to be an adult to harm a child and majority of perpetrators are someone the child or family knows. They can have a relationship to the child this includes a father, uncle, sibling or playmate, other family members, teacher, coach or instructor, caretaker or the parent of another child. Research shows that as many as 93% of victims under the age of 18 know the abuser.
Child sexual abuse is not always easy to spot. The perpetrator could be someone you’ve known a long time or trust, which may make it even harder to notice. Consider the following warning signs:
Signs that an adult is using their relationship with a child for sexual reasons may not be readily obvious. We may feel uncomfortable about the way they play with the child, or seem always to be favouring a particular child and creating reasons for them to be alone.
It is normal to feel a little overwhelmed and confused in this situation. When talking with an abused child, the best thing you can provide is calm reassurance and unconditional support. Let your actions speak for you if you’re having trouble finding the words. Remember that talking about the abuse may be very difficult for the child. It’s your job to reassure the child and provide whatever help you can