Whether you suffered sexual abuse as a child or you are the parent of a child who has experienced this trauma, it is important to know that you are not alone. Sadly, many children continue to suffer, and it is also important to go over the different ways that sexual abuse can affect a child’s life.
When reviewing data on sexual abuse involving kids, it is pivotal for parents to realize that abusers are often trusted by victims or their families. Moreover, you should do everything in your power to hold an abuser answerable, not only to get justice but to prevent abuse from occurring in the future.
Data on sexual abuse and children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared statistics on the sexual abuse of children under the age of 18. The CDC states that roughly one out of 13 boys and 25% of girls in the U.S. suffer sexual abuse. However, the CDC believes that these figures underestimate the actual prevalence of abuse, especially since many victims do not report abuse.
According to the CDC, 91% of the sexual abuse against children involves abusers known by the child or members of the child’s family.
The impact of sexual abuse against children
Victims suffer in many different ways, whether they develop post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. Aside from mental trauma, childhood sexual abuse can increase the risk of serious health problems including obesity, heart disease and cancer. Research also shows that victims of sexual abuse as children are more likely to face intimate partner violence as adults.
Clearly, sexual abuse against children remains far too prevalent, and abusers must answer for the consequences of their actions.