Clara Hinton
Grief Speaker, Author, and Workshop Leader

What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

2/25/2013 (Protection from Child Predators)

In order for this series of articles to be most helpful, it's necessary to first explain exactly what is meant by child sexual abuse.  Please note that these articles may be hard to read due to the descriptive content, but it is of my belief that unless we are open in our dialogue and use proper terms, we'll continue to sugar coat the level of harm done to children when we don't do all we can to protect them from sexual abuse.  So, common sense will tell us that in order to protect our children from something harmful, we must first understand exactly what it is that we're protecting our children from.


What is child sexual abuse?  According to the law, child sexual abuse includes any sexual contact with any child under the age of 18 regardless or not whether it results in climax by either the perpetrator or the minor or both.  Sexual abuse includes:


  • Any fondling of a minor for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either the perpetrator, the minor, or both

  • Any penetration including vagina, anus, or mouth of any minor by the sexual organ of a male or female perpetrator or any other object

  • Any forced or encouraged sexual activity between minors

  • Any type of exposing of any sexual parts, including penis, vagina, breasts, or buttocks to any minor with the intent to sexually gratify either the perpetrator, the minor, or both

  • Any photographing or videotaping of a minor for the purpose of stimulating the perpetrator

  • Any display or exhibition of photographs, videotapes, or other reproductions of any minor engaged in any type of sexual act

  • Any attempt or conspiracy to do any of the above


This is only a partial list, and thankfully the laws are beginning to be more strict in the description of child sexual abuse.  That being said, it sounds like we should be able to report a suspected violation, have it acted upon immediately, and have the offender properly punished and thereby keep our children safe.  If only it was that simple!


Because child abusers are so manipulative and so smart in targeting children, most cases of abuse go undetected and therefore unreported.  What's worse is the fact that statistics are telling us that 1 in every 3 girls and 1 in every 4 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18!  With the internet, social media outlets, and easy access to porn, these numbers are on the rise leaving behind brokenness and devastation to our precious children!


Alarmingly, it is estimated that 90% of young sexual abuse victims are abused by someone they already know and trust.  Our churches are havens for sexual predators and if you've been following the news lately, you'll find this to be more true than we'd ever like to believe!  On top of that, a mere 5% of children who have been abused ever tell.  We'll discuss this more in an upcoming article.


This series will help give you resources and guidance on how to help keep your child safe from the abuse of sexual predators.


Note:  I am passionate about educating parents about these horrendous acts against our children.  Sadly, I was married to a now convicted pedophile for almost 40 years and didn't know.  I don't want other parents to be as naive as I was about this subject.  Let's do all we can to protect our children!

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