Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Sexual Child Abuse There are many types of child abuse. I am going to tell you about sexual child abuse. Sexual abuse is defined as the engage of a child in sexual activities the child does not understand, to which the child can't give informed consent, which are developmentally inappropriate and/or which violate the laws of society. In 1986, 20% of child abuse cases were sexual abuse.

Every child is vulnerable to sexual abuse. Research shows that as many as one out of every four children will be a victim of sexual abuse. Very young children as well as older can be victimized. Studies show that almost all children victimized will be abused by; someone they know and trust: a relative, family friend, or caretaker.

Sexual abuse can be physical, verbal, or emotional and includes: · Sexual touching and fondling · Exposing children to adult sexual activities such as pornography movies and photos · Having children pose, undress or perform in a sexual fashion, in film, or in person · "Peeping" into bathrooms or bedrooms to spy on child · Rape or attempted rape Abuse begins gradually and increases over time.

The use of force is rarely necessary to engage a child in sexual activity because children are trusting and dependent. They want to please others and gain love and approval.

Signs that the child may be being abused: · Fear of certain people or places · Sleep disturbances · School problems · Withdraw from family and friends · Depression · Low self-esteem · Discipline problems · Babyish behaviors · Self-destructive behaviors · Suicide attempts · Hostility or aggression More specific symptoms: · Copying adult sexual behaviors · Sexual play with other children · Unexplained pain, swelling, bleeding, or irritation of the mouth, genital, or anal areas Children who have been sexually abused may feel fear, anger, isolation, sadness, guilt, shame, or confusion. To protect your child from sexual abuse you should provide the child with information in a matter-of-fact way. Although children who are educated on sexual abuse are more well prepared and more likely tell someone if abuse has occurred. If the child tells you something has happened, LISTEN! Some children don't tell you because they are afraid. They are afraid no one will believe them, or that the abuser will hurt them. They may not tell because they feel guilty, they don't want to get and adult "in trouble." Children are ,at times, threatened by the abuser that they will be taken away from home. Hopefully the information I have provided you will help at least on parent avoid the pain and trauma of an abused child.

Sources: www.dogpile.com keyword child sexual abuse, www.childaabuse.org/facts.html