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SEXUAL ABUSE

This section is targeted toward adults because it may contain some sensitive information for children and child abuse victims. The information on this page is to help people you know who have been abused or are being abused. 

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) defines sexual child abuse as sexual activity involving a minor. Nonetheless, such activity does not need to involve physical contact to be considered as sexual child abuse. The information following this statement is somewhat vulgar and can be disturbing to some, even non-victims, so read with caution. 

Sexual child abuse involves sexual activity with a child where consent cannot or is not given. Regardless of whether or not manipulation is in play or if the child understands the sexual nature of the activity between him/her and the adult, it is still considered abuse as young children cannot consent to sexual activities. Sexual contact between an older and a younger child also can be also considered abusive if there is a significant difference in age, development, or size, leaving the younger child unfit to provide consent.

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It's never the child's fault for being sexually abused. It might not be the abuser's fault either, in some occasions, as sometimes the trauma from their childhood might leave them not in control of their actions. Either way sexual abuse is inexcusable and should be avoided. If you know someone who is showing these signs or if you are worried about your behavior, please get help. 

There are two types of child sexual abuse: contact and non-contact abuse. Both are serious crimes. Contact sexual abuse is defined as sexual abuse where the abuser physically touches the child. This includes, but is not limited to:​

  • Sexually touching any area of a child's body, whether or not they are wearing clothing

  • Raping/penetrating a child by using one's body or an object

  • Coercing a child to partake in sexual acts, such as sexual games or touchings another sexually

  • Forcing a child to undress or touch someone else 

  • Unconsented kissing or sex 

  • Sex trafficking

Non-contact sexual abuse is defined as sexual abuse that doesn't involve the abuser touching victim(s). This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Exposing oneself naked to a minor

  • Forcing a child to watch pornography

  • Inappropriately watching a child undress or use the bathroom

  • Making a child masturbate

  • Forcing a child to take part in sexual activities or conversations online or through a phone

  • Making, viewing, or distributing child abuse images or videos

  • Taking pictures of a child in sexual poses

  • Encouraging the child to watch or hear sexual acts

  • Talking in/sending suggestive or sexually explicit ways to a child

Both types of sexual abuse usually go under the radar, unnoticed, as the signs are difficult to detect. Nonetheless, if you have even the smallest suspicion that a child, or anyone else, is being sexually abused, please check with the signs below:

  • Bleeding, bruising, or swelling in genital areas

  • Bloody, torn or stained underwear

  • Difficulty walking or sitting

  • Frequent yeast or urinary infections

  • Venereal disease

  • Swollen or red cervix, vulva, perineum or anus

  • Unproper hygiene

  • Exhibits signs of depression or PTSD

  • Shame or guilt

  • Excessive masturbation

  • Acting seductively towards adults or other children

  • Inappropriate knowledge of sexual matters

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Sudden drop in academic performance

  • Refusal to undress for PE class

  • Difficulty in concentrating

  • Often arriving to school early or leaving late

  • Nightmares/refusal to sleep alone

  • Returns to childish behaviors (thumb-sucking, etc.)

  • Eating too much or too little

  • Uncomfortable with physical contact

  • Social withdrawal

  • Difficulty trusting others

  • Overly aggressive or passive behavior

  • Self-harm

  • Running away from home/school

Remember: The abuser is not always an adult. He/she could be an adolescent or another child.