Child sexual abuse

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Child sexual abuse is a kind of child abuse when an adult or someone else with power makes a child do any kind of sexual activities,[1] including kissing and hugging.[2]

Sexual abuse does emotional harm to children. Some of the effects do not show right away, and appear when the child has grown up. These effects can include depression,[3] post-traumatic stress disorder,[4] anxiety,[5] borderline personality disorder, a higher chance of later abuse,[6] and physical injury.[7] Suicide is one of the effects with victims being six times more likely to commit suicide and eight times more likely to attempt suicide over and over again throughout their lives.

When a child is sexually abused by a family member, it is called "incest," and causes even more serious long-term psychological trauma, especially when the incest is done by a parent. [8] Most but not all child sexual abuse is committed by pedophiles, adults who are sexually attracted to children more than to adults.[9]

Child sexual abuse is not rare. Around a quarter of all women and a tenth of all men were sexually abused when they were children.[10][11][12][13][14] Different places in the world have different rates of child sexual abuse. Disabled children are more likely to be sexually abused than non-disabled children. For most children who are sexually abused, the person who abused them is somebody that they know. Around a third of child sexual abuse is by a relative of the child, most often fathers, uncles or cousins. Only around a tenth of child sexual abuse cases were abused by strangers, and the rest are other people whom the child knows such as friends of the family, babysitters, or neighbors. Men are the offenders in most child sexual abuse; women are the offenders in around 10% of the cases.[10]

References[change | change source]

  1. Committee on Professional Practice and Standards (COPPS), Board of Professional Affairs (BPA), American Psychological Association (APA); Catherine Acuff, Ph.D.; Steven Bisbing, Ph.D.; Michael Gottlieb, Ph.D.; Lisa Grossman, Ph.D.; Jody Porter, Ph.D.; Richard Reichbart, Ph.D.; Steven Sparta, Ph.D.; and C. Eugene Walker, Ph.D (August 1999). "Guidelines for Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters". American Psychologist 54 (8): 586 — 593. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.54.8.586. Retrieved 2008-05-07. Lay summary – APA PsycNET (2008-05-07). "Abuse, sexual (child): generally defined as contacts between a child and an adult or other person significantly older or in a position of power or control over the child, where the child is being used for sexual stimulation of the adult or other person.".
  2. Martin, J., Anderson, J., Romans, S., et al. (1993). "Asking about child sexual abuse: methodological implications of a two-stage survey," Child Abuse and Neglect, 17, 383-392.
  3. Roosa M.W., Reinholtz C., Angelini P.J. (1999). "The relation of child sexual abuse and depression in young women: comparisons across four ethnic groups," Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 27(1):65-76.
  4. Widom, S.; Dumont K., Czaja, S. (2007). "A Prospective Investigation of Major Depressive Disorder and Comorbidity in Abused and Neglected Children Grown Up". Archives of General Psychiatry 64 (1): 49. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.64.1.49.; lay summary
  5. Levitan, R. D., N. A. Rector, Sheldon, T., & Goering, P. (2003). "Childhood adversities associated with major depression and/or anxiety disorders in a community sample of Ontario: Issues of co-morbidity and specificity," Depression & Anxiety; 17, 34-42.
  6. Terri L. Messman-Moore & Patricia J. Long, "Child Sexual Abuse and Revictimization in the Form of Adult Sexual Abuse, Adult Physical Abuse, and Adult Psychological Maltreatment," 15 Journal of Interpersonal Violence 489 (2000).
  7. Dinwiddie S, Heath AC, Dunne MP, et al. (2000). "Early sexual abuse and lifetime psychopathology: a co-twin-control study." Psychological Medicine, 30:41–52
  8. Courtois, Christine A. (1988). Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. p208. ISBN 0393313565.
  9. "A Profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes, and Forensic Issues". MAYO CLIN PROC (MAYO FOUNDATION FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION AND RESEARCH) 82:457-471 2007.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Julia Whealin, Ph.D. (May 22, 2007). "Child Sexual Abuse". National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, US Department of Veterans Affairs.
  11. David Finkelhor (summer/fall 1994). "Current Information on the Scope and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse". The Future of Children (1994) 4(2): 31-53.
  12. Crimes against Children Research Center
  13. Family Research Laboratory
  14. Kevin M. Gorey and Donald R. Leslie. "The prevalence of child sexual abuse: Integrative review adjustment for potential response and measurement biases". Child Abuse & Neglect (Elsevier Science Ltd.) Volume 21, Issue 4, April 1997: pp391-398. doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(96)00180-9.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Waterman, Jill; Kelly, Robert J.; Oliveri, Mary Kay; and McCord, Jane (1993). Behind the Playground Walls - Sexual Abuse in Preschools. New York, London: The Guilford Press. ISBN 0-89862-523-8.
  • Davis, Laura; Bass, Ellen (1994). The courage to heal: a guide for women survivors of child sexual abuse: featuring "Honoring the truth, a response to the backlash". New York: HarperPerennial. ISBN 0060950668.
  • Lew, Mike. Victims No Longer (Second Edition) : The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse. Perennial Currents. ISBN 006053026X.

Other websites[change | change source]

Published articles[change | change source]