Sexual abuse is one form of child abuse. It includes a wide range of actions between a child and an adult or older child. Often these involve body contact, but not always. Exposing one's genitals to children or pressuring them for sex is sexual abuse. Using a child for pornography is also sexual abuse.
Most sexual abusers know the child they abuse. They may be family friends, neighbors or babysitters. About one-third of abusers are related to the child. Most abusers are men. If you think a child may have been abused, it's important to report it.
- Parenting a Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused: A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents (Children's Bureau) - PDF
- Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse (American Psychological Association)
Statistics and Research
- CDC Vital Signs: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- Youth and Teens Page (National Runaway Safeline)
- Helping Yourself Heal: A Recovering Man's Guide to Coping with the Effects of Childhood Abuse (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) - PDF
- Helping Yourself Heal: A Recovering Woman's Guide to Coping with Childhood Abuse Issues (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) - PDF Also in Spanish