4 Key Facts About Child Sexual Abuse

FACT: Children will not always report abuse.

Most don’t tell immediately and some don’t tell at all.

Many children do not tell when they have been sexually abused. For some it takes months or even years before they disclose what happened. Some never tell.

Due to the shame and guilt they feel, many children don’t tell anyone until they are adults. This is why child sexual abuse is one of the most under-reported crimes.

FACT: “Stranger Danger” is not real offline.

95% of children are sexually abused by someone they know and trust.

When children have been sexually abused by a family member or family friend, they are more reluctant to tell and more likely to blame themselves. The child often feels confused and scared, which results in a reluctance to tell what’s happened.

FACT: Authority figures such as the coach, minister or teacher are rarely perpetrators of abuse.

These people often become the focus of high profile cases, yet 95% of the time the abuser is a family member or family friend.

Abusers take advantage of a child’s trust, and of their relationship with that child in order to carry out the sexual abuse. If the abuser is someone the child or family knows, trusts and cares about, the child may feel the need to protect the safety of the abuser because of that close relationship.

FACT: Most of the time — 93 percent — there is no genital injury to a child who is abused.

This is because perpetrators do not want to risk losing access to the child, so they don’t want to cause physical harm.

Our Kids research shows that only 7% of children have injury from a sexual assault.

To learn the signs of child sexual abuse, click here.