Parental Tips

10 Common Truths of Child Sexual Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse is unfortunately a taboo subject, no one discusses it despite its prevalence in our society. However, bringing the truth the light just may save a child. Please read these 10 truths about child sexual abuse, and educate yourself and your children about the reality of this horrific abuse, and how to prevent it.

It's a hard topic to discuss, but learn the truth about child sexual abuse and help prevent it from happening to even more children.

10 Common Truths of Child Sexual Abuse

Truth 1:  Children Rarely Tell Someone About Their Abuse

There are a number of reasons why children might not disclose. Most are intimidated, scared to get into trouble, and sometimes it’s a parent that’s the abuser and they have no one to tell. Also, sometimes children being abused are pre-verbal or have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Truth 2: We Cannot Spot Abusers

Unfortunately, there’s no race or class that’s common to abusers, they look like anyone else. Abusers aren’t usually a creepy guy in a coat, it can even be someone who works with kids.

Truth 3: Someone Who Has been Sexually Abused as a Child Will  Not Become an Adult Abuser

In fact children that are abused are more likely to also be abused as adults. Sometimes they have feelings of worthlessness which can result in them becoming victims of problematic drug abuse, domestic violence or sex trafficking.

Truth 4: Child Abuse Happens EVERYWHERE

Child abuse happens across all social classes, religions and ethnicities. It has no borders.

Truth 5: Both Men and Women Sexually Abuse Children

Although much less common, women also abuse children, including where they’ve been groomed or coerced into abusing a child.

It's a hard topic to discuss, but learn the truth about child sexual abuse and help prevent it from happening to even more children.

Truth 6: Victims Usually Know their Abusers IRL

More than 90% of child sexual abuse is carried out by someone in your circle of trust.

Truth 7: There are Several Types of Abuse

There are many types of sexual abuse such as individual, gang, group, street grooming, online and peer-to-peer. Self-abuse is also huge problem, and abuse for financial gain like live streaming.

Truth 8: Child Sexual Abuse IS Preventable

Child sexual abuse is preventable, though learning early warning signs and prevention education is key.

Truth 9: Children Do Not Just “Get Over” Sexual Abuse

Adults are often deeply affected by childhood trauma and abuse. You cannot just “get over” it. Survivors need the right therapy and support to overcome the impacts of abuse and trauma, in order to recover and live full and healthy lives.

Truth 10: People Who Sexually Abuse Children are Not Usually Mentally Ill

There’s no evidence of people who commit child sexual abuse of being mentally ill. We often see them in positions of trust, they are from all parts of society, and can be in established careers.

What to Do if Your Child Discloses Abuse

If your child discloses abuse to you, the NSPCC offers this advice on how to respond:

  1. Listen carefully
  2. Let them know they’ve done the right thing by telling you
  3. Tell them it’s not their fault
  4. Don’t confront the abuser
  5. Report what your child has told you to the proper authorities

In the United States if you are not sure who, to contact, call the ChildHelp® National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453; or, for immediate help, call 911.