Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse of children is a problem that occurs around the world. It is a type of child abuse that involves asking, pressuring, or forcing children to engage in sexual activity. Typical offenses that fall into this category include: exposing genitals to minors, forcing them to participate in or produce child pornography, and direct sexual contact.
The effects of such an offense are far-reaching. Individuals who experience this trauma at a young age may become utterly depressed, develop post-traumatic stress disorder, and show signs of extreme anxiety, among many other psychological, physical, and social problems. These individuals tend to continually victimize themselves in adulthood.
When child sexual abuse occurs within the family, the abuse becomes a form of incest, which consequently may result in even more serious psychological implications, especially if the offender is a parent of the child.
According to statistics, about 20-25% of women report that they were sexually abused when they were children. For men, the number hangs right around 5-15%. Even more staggering is the percentage of offenders who actually share very close relationships with the victims. About 30% of the offenders were relatives, most often uncles, cousins and fathers. Around 30% are friends, acquaintances, babysitters, and neighbors. Strangers make up only 10% of the total number of offenders.
Psychologically, child abuse can have both long- and short-term effects. Perhaps most dangerous is the relationship between sexual abuse as a child and psychosis as an adult. Studies show that child sexual abuse can cause very serious antisocial behavior in adults.