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Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse, also known as molestation and exploitation, happens whenever a child or an adolescent is threatened, forced, or pressured into any form of sexual contact.

Sexual abuse may involve: fondling (inappropriate touch), anal, vaginal or oral penetration involving any object, mouth-to-genital contact, exhibitionism (sexually exposing oneself), voyeurism (habitually seeking sexual gratification through visual means), verbal stimulation (purposely using sexual words to sexually arouse) and/or making children read, look at, or participate in pornography.

Sexual abuse of children by adults or by other children is a widespread problem. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reports 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 4 boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18 years old. Sexual abuse can happen to any child at any age, in any setting.