Child Sexual Abuse...


Child Sexual Abuse


Sexual assault of children often includes incest as a subset of this form of sexual assault. While there is a substantial amount of overlap in the two types of assault, for the purposes of this website we have separated them in recognition of the different needs that victims of each type of assault may have.

Contact Can Include:

Additional Features

Adult Reactions

Many adults tend to overlook, to minimize, to explain away, or to disbelieve allegations of abuse. This may be particularly true if the perpetrator is a family member.

NOTE: The absence of force or coercion does not diminish the abusive nature of the conduct, but, sadly, it may cause the child to feel responsible for what has occurred.

Warning Signs

Physical Signs

Behavioral Signs

Common Reactions

Talking to your child if you suspect that they are being sexually abused

Parents are surrounded by messages about child sexual abuse. Talkshows and TV news warn parents about dangers on the Internet, at school and at home. However, parents don’t get much advice on how to talk to their children if they are concerned that sexual abuse is occurring.
Talk to your child directly.

Build a trusting relationship with your child.

If you have reason to be concerned about sexual abuse, there may be other signs of sexual abuse as well. See above for a list of those signs. As you talk to your child about sexual abuse, remember to focus on creating a safe place for your child. Even if they don’t tell you about sexual abuse at the time of the conversation, you are laying a foundation for future conversations.