Child Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse includes activities by a parent or caregiver such as fondling a child or youth’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure and child sex trafficking.

Sexual abuse is defined as the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of any child or youth… to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct, for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct…or the rape, and in cases of the caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, child sex trafficking or incest with children.

Girl walking away with pink backpack.

Signs and Behaviors of the Child or Youth

  • Suddenly refuses to change for gym class
  • Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior
  • Becomes pregnant or contracts a sexually transmitted infection, particularly if under age 14
  • Runs away
  • Reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver
  • Attaches very quickly to strangers or new adults in their environment
  • Fears particular people, places or activities
  • Regresses to early behaviors such as bed-wetting or sleep disturbances

Signs and Behaviors of Parent or Caretaker

  • Is unduly protective of the child or severely limits the child or youth’s contact with other children, especially of the opposite sex
  • Is secretive and isolated
  • Is jealous or controlling with family members