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
- Childhood Sexual Abuse and Suicide (American Association of Suicidology) - PDF
- Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse (American Psychological Association)
- What Is Child Traumatic Stress? (National Child Traumatic Stress Network) Also in Spanish
- Child Sex Trafficking in America: A Guide for Parents and Guardians (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) - PDF
- FAQ: Child Sexual Exploitation (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
- Signs of Childhood Sexual Abuse (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- Tips for Protecting Child Athletes from Sexual Abuse (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) - PDF - In English and Spanish
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Childhood abuse and neglect and insecure attachment states of mind...
- Article: Persistent Complications of Child Sexual Abuse: Sexually Compulsive Behaviors, Attachment,...
- Article: Some Epidemiological Characteristics of Perpetrators and Victims of Incest in...
- Child Sexual Abuse -- see more articles
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