CHILDREN & ADOLESCENTS
Every 9 minutes, child protective services substantiates, or finds evidence for, a claim of child sexual abuse.
What is child sexual abuse?
Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse that includes sexual activity with a minor. A child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, period. When a perpetrator engages with a child this way, they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim for years. Child sexual abuse does not need to include physical contact between a perpetrator and a child.
The following statistics are provided by RAINN
THE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE
The effects of child sexual abuse can be long-lasting and affect the victim's mental health. Victims are more likely than non-victims to experience the following mental health challenges:(5)
TEEN DATING VIOLENCE
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
THE FOLLOWING DEFINITIONS ARE PROVIDED BY THE
CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC):
Teen dating violence (TDV) is a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs between two people in a close relationship. TDV includes four types of behavior:
when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force.
forcing or attempting to force a partner to take part in a sex act, sexual touching, or a non-physical sexual event (e.g., sexting) when the partner does not or cannot consent.
the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another person mentally or emotionally and/or exert control over another person.
a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.
Teen dating violence, also referred to as “dating violence,” can take place in person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online without consent. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship—but these behaviors can become abusive and develop into serious forms of violence. However, many teens do not report unhealthy behaviors because they are afraid to tell family and friends.
TAKING ACTION ISN’T EASY, BUT IT’S IMPORTANT
Open communication can be a challenge with teens, but it’s an important part of keeping them safe. As teens become more independent and spend more time with friends and other activities, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and let your teen know they can trust you. Learn more about talking to kids and teens about sexual assault.
Remember, you are not alone. If you suspect sexual abuse you can talk to someone who is trained to help. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673), our 24/7 hotline: 706.571.6010, or chat online at online.rainn.org.
David Finkelhor, Anne Shattuck, Heather A. Turner, & Sherry L. Hamby, The Lifetime Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault Assessed in Late Adolescence, 55 Journal of Adolescent Health 329, 329-333 (2014).
Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement (2000).
Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sex Offenses and Offenders (1997).
H.M Zinzow, H.S. Resnick, J.L. McCauley, A.B. Amstadter, K.J. Ruggiero, & D.G. Kilpatrick, Prevalence and risk of psychiatric disorders as a function of variant rape histories: results from a national survey of women. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 47(6), 893-902 (2012).
United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. Child Maltreatment Survey, 2016 (2018).