Confide | in us


It is not your fault!


Our Videos




What is Child Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse occurs when a child is a sexual partner of an adult. Anyone under the age of 18 whom an adult uses for sexual enjoyment is considered a child who is sexually abused.

Child sexual abuse includes touching and non-touching activities.

Touching activities include:

  • Touching a child’s genitals for sexual gratification
  • Making a child touch someone else’s genitals, play sexual games or have sex
  • Putting objects or body parts (such as fingers, tongue or penis) inside the vagina, in the mouth or in the anus of a child for sexual gratification

Non-touching activities include:

  • Showing pornography to a child
  • Purposely exposing an adult’s genitals to a child
  • Taking photographs of a child in sexual poses
  • Encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts
  • Inappropriately watch a child get undressed or use the bathroom

Children who are victims of sexual abuse can experience devastating long-term emotional and psychological damage. For this reason, sexual abuse should be identified, reported and stopped immediately, and the victim should get professional help.

Who can sexually abuse Children?

Child sexual abuse can occur in the family – by a parent, step-parent, sibling or other relative. It’s almost always by someone known by the child. Abusers can also be friends, neighbors, teachers, etc. Nevertheless, the abuse can at times be by a stranger.

Abusers come from all cases, races and religions, and may be homosexual or heterosexual. The majority of them are men.

What happens when a child is sexually abused?

When a child is sexually abused, they can develop different distressing feelings, thoughts and behaviors, as they are never psychologically prepared to cope with repeated sexual abuse, thus developing problems due to their inability to cope with the abuse.

The child who knows and loves the abuser experiences confusion. They become trapped between loving and trusting that person, and the sense that the sexual activity taking place is not right.

Sexually abused children can be silenced by the abuser who often offers the victim gifts or treats. If they try to break away from the sexual relationship, the abuser may threaten them, especially when sexual abuse takes place in the family and the child fears the anger or shame of other family members, or worry that the family would break up if the sexual abuse is no longer a secret.

There may be other reasons why sexual abuse victims don’t speak up. Very young children or children with special needs may lack the words or means of communication to tell about the abuse taking place.

Any sexually abused child usually develops low self-esteem and a distorted view of sex. They may become withdrawn and suicidal and lose trust in adults. They can even have difficulty relating to others – except with regards to sex. Some of them might even continue the pattern and become sexual abusers or prostitutes themselves, or have other serious issues when they become adults.

Signs of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse should be considered a possible cause in the event your child displays any of the below signs:

  • Lack of interest in usual activities
  • Being unusually withdrawn
  • Mood swings and changes in interests
  • Fears and insecurity
  • Unexplained and unusual pain
  • Anger, extreme behavior, depression, lack of concentration
  • Having nightmares and being aggressive
  • Bed wetting
  • Fear of being along with a certain person
  • Age inappropriate sexual language
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Soreness, redness, itching, bleeding or burning genital areas
  • Unusual smell of genital areas
  • Pain while urinating
  • Stained underpants
  • Self harm
  • Saying that their bodies are hurt or dirty, or fear that their genitals are damaged
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Problems with conduct and misbehaving
  • Being secretive
  • Aspects of sexual assault in games, drawings and fantasies
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Having in unusual interest in or avoiding everything of a sexual nature
  • Saying things that demonstrate unordinary sexual knowledge
  • Sexually explicit drawings
  • Sexual interaction with animals, toys, or other people
  • Being preoccupied with matters of a sexual nature
  • Eating disorder, quick and significant weight gain or loss
  • Being unusually withdrawn from the family
  • Hiding or running away
  • Acting out in an unusual way

If you suspect a case of sexual abuse, or if your child admits to being sexually abused, do not be afraid to seek help!

How to prevent Sexual Abuse?

When a child has been taught what’s “okay” and what’s “not okay”, and they have self confidence, they are less likely to be a victim of sexual abuse and more willing to report an incident should one occur. To prevent your child from sexual abuse, many steps can be taken. Educating children about their bodies and teaching them what is considered sexual abuse and what is acceptable can help prevent such crimes.

  • Tell your children that they should say NO to adults trying to touch their private body parts and making them feel uncomfortable. Teach them to tell you about such instances right away.
  • Tell your children that respect does not mean to blindly obey adults. If they feel that something is wrong with the adult’s request, they should go with their instinct.
  • Teach your children the difference between a healthy touch (a quick hug or kiss on the cheek), a confusing touch (brushing up against body parts), and a bad touch (sexual intercourse or fondling genitals). Also teach them that it is wrong and NEVER right for adults or anyone else to have sex with them.
  • Monitor your children’s internet use and know their passwords.
  • Teach your children names for their body parts.
  • Have daily conversations with them.
  • Teach them that it’s Okay to refuse to do anything that makes them uncomfortable with adults, even if they know the abuser.
  • Let them know that it is alright if they speak up, even if the abuser threatened them and they are afraid of letting you know. Let them learn to trust you.
What to do when your child admits to being sexually abused?

When a kid reports that they are being or have been sexually abused, they are most often telling the truth, as less than 5% of all reports by children are actually false accusations.

Here is what you should do:

  • Do not panic and listen calmly to your child
  • Ask them what happened in detail
  • Do not judge or criticize
  • Let them know that you are there for them and that you will protect them
  • Do not confront the abuser yourself
  • Call us for help: we will help provide medical, psychological and legal support from trained experts
  • Never cease to let your child know how much you love and care for them, as they are very vulnerable at this time.
Tips for Parents:
  • Develop a strong bond with your children.
  • Let your relationship with your children be based on trust, so that they can feel comfortable to talk to you about anything.
  • There should be a rule about keeping no secrets from you, as this could be dangerous.
  • Teach your children about their genital parts and about sexuality.
  • Teach them about what’s Okay and what’s not Okay. Emphasize that sexual advances from adults or older children are wrong and illegal.
  • Let your children know that they have the right to self-ownership and body privacy.
  • Make it a priority to spend a lot of time with your children and provide them with love and care. A lonely child is an easy prey.
  • Get to know your children’s entourage (their friends and their parents, their teachers, ad their care givers)
  • Trust your feelings and listen to your instincts when you doubt a certain person’s behavior or if a situation makes you uncomfortable.
  • Tell your children to trust their feelings or instincts if they are uncomfortable about a certain situation.
  • Listen carefully to what children say.
  • Talk to your child’s doctor when in doubt regarding your child’s sexual development.