Childhood Sexual and Physical Abuse

Sexual Abuse:
  • Sexual abuse occurs when a person forces and/or coerces a child to have any form of sexual contact or makes a child perform sexual acts. 
  • Sexual abuse may involve:
    • Touching private parts (clothed or unclothed)
    • Penetration using an object
    • Forced sexual acts between children
    • Making a child view, read, or participate in pornography
    • These acts are abuse even if the offenders say they were gentle and did not hurt the child.
  • Sexual abuse does not always mean intercourse.
  • Sometimes older children abuse younger children – sexual acts between children become abuse when one child uses coercion, force, or violence.
One in four girls will be sexually abused before her 18th birthday.
9 out of 10 children never report his or her abuse.
One in six boys will be sexually abused before his 18th birthday.
Physical Abuse:
  • Physical abuse occurs when an adult purposefully causes serious physical injury or allows for a serious risk of physical injury to happen to a child.
  • This can include inappropriate punishment that is meant to cause harm in order to change the behavior of a child.
  • Neglect is when a child does not receive proper care, supervision, or discipline from or has been abandoned by the parent or guardian.