What is Child Sexual Abuse?

What is child sexual abuse? Any sexual activity that is imposed on a child by an adult or an adolescent is a sexual assault and abuse of the power of one person over another. This also includes experiences of child to child, teen to child, teen to teen, if there is an age difference of four or more years.

The key word in this definition is imposed on a child. Children are trained to trust adults, as well they should. When an adult asks, manipulates or forces a child to do something that is against the child's best interest and welfare, they are imposing an experience that will have life long repercussions: perhaps physically, but especially emotionally. Many behavior problems can be traced to being inappropriately touched or manipulated by someone who had power or authority over a child, and used that power in a sexual way.

Sexual abuse doesn't have to involve intercourse. It can range from exhibited genitals, to fondling breasts, genitals or thighs. Some abusers are sexually stimulated by seeing children undressed or engaging in set up sexual games with adults or other children. Some offenders manipulate the child into oral sex or the actual act of intercourse. Others find it amusing to show pornography or to talk "dirty" to those who are younger than they are. Traumatic damage can be done to a sensitive child just by making suggestive references or talking in a sexual way.

Sexual abuse can also take the form of child exploitation by photographing the child in a compromising situation, with the intent to either use the photos for their own sexual stimulation or to sell them as pornography. The range of abuse is so wide and varied that it is hard to pin down a specific definition.

The fact is sexual abuse of children takes many forms, involves varying degrees of violence and emotional trauma, and is defined in a variety of ways, depending on the culture, context and purpose of the definition. However, the one consistent factor that is always present is the child does not know how to protect himself and someone bigger and stronger has power over them.

What many parents, police and others don't understand is that the fear, intimidation and loss of trust are frequently much more harmful than the actual act. It causes confusion about roles, boundaries and sexual awareness.

A child or teen that has been abused sexually will need patience, understanding, support and tools to deal with the trauma.

Judy H. Wright, Parent Educator, www.ArtichokePress.com

This article was written by Judy Wright, parent educator and author. Feel free to use it in your newsletter or publication, but please give full credit to the author and mention the contact information of JudyWright@ArtichokePress.com, 406-549-9813.

You will find a full listing of books, tapes, newsletters and workshops available on finding the heart of the story in the journey of life by going to www.ArtichokePress.com

In The News:

pen paper and inkwell

cat break through

Is a Mothers Love, Medicine?

Minus all meningitis thoughts. The flu symptons were strong. Headache,... Read More

I Cant Sleep Without You

When my firstborn arrived into this serene and peaceful household,... Read More

Muscle Pain And Children Do Not Mix

I am in pain. I've been in pain all day.... Read More

Remember The Generation Gap?

The techniques of managing relationships between parents and their children... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: But everyone else gets to do it!

Q. We are getting to the stage with our kids... Read More

The Truth Behind Having Children

In the beginning, having children was just a byproduct of... Read More

My Dads Secrets

From the book Spider's Night on the BoomI've only begun... Read More

The Parent Teen Relationship: How Effective is Yours?

It was the homework that did it. Each night became... Read More

More Water, Not Less, Will Help End Bedwetting

Children are notoriously bad at drinking enough liquids. They are... Read More

Scolding: One of Communications Tools of Last Resort

(Excerpted from Jim Rohn's 2004 Weekend Leadership Event)You have to... Read More

Swing Sets and Outdoor Play Equipment- 5 Essential Tips Before You Buy

For first time parents choosing a swing set or outdoor... Read More

Revering the Crayon Marks

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine,... Read More

Back to School Feng Shui

Every school year parents and students dutifully trudge through the... Read More

Who Are Your Kids Talking To Online?

Studies have shown that:1 out of 4 children were sent... Read More

Parents Demand Dumbed-down Tests:An Unintended Bad Consequence of the No Child Left Behind Act

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is making... Read More

Back to School Success: The Parents Job and the Students Job

Q. With another school year starting, we are not sure... Read More

MORAL ARMORS Irrational Parenting, Part II

Handing Down Malignancy.Children may begin bright and eager to face... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Driving and Having a Car is a Privilege, Not a Right

Q. My teenage son is turning 16 early next year... Read More

Celebrating Life with Children in September

Here are ten simple pleasures you can enjoy with your... Read More

Kids and Sports: Fundamentals First

Would you hand a child calculus problems once she was... Read More

Why Wont My Child Do as I Say?

In speaking with parents a comment I frequently hear is... Read More

Film Industry and Our Youth

In the first premise, some films and video tapes which... Read More

Teenagers Taking Risks

It can be hard being a parent with a teen... Read More

Help Your Children to Love Reading

It is so important to create an environment that promotes... Read More

The Giving Jar

Giving with a happy heart. If you teach a child... Read More

Marriage, Divorce, and Kids

Are men to blame for the divorce problem in this... Read More

The Theme from MASH - Suicide is Not Painless

The Theme from MASHI flipped the button on the remote... Read More

Tools to Find Family-Friendly Content

The Internet, is magnificent in its resources for families. Educational... Read More

Teach Your Children How To Resolve Conflict Without Using Anger Or Power

Teaching kids to deal with conflict effectively and peacefully is... Read More

Will My Child Ever Out-grow His Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

If your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder then at... Read More

Exposing the Damage: TV and Kids

There are millions of young children in this country who... Read More

The Top 10 Tips on Hiring a Babysitter

1. Encourage your babysitter by keeping their favorite foods/snacks on... Read More

How You Can Help Your Child To Be An Avid Reader

Reading is the most efficient and economical way to help... Read More