[profileleft][/profileleft]There are certain topics that no one wants to talk about or think about. Unfortunately, some of these topics are so important they need to be discussed even though they are uncomfortable for some and excruciating for others. One such topic is child sexual abuse.
The sexual abuse of children is a major problem nearly everywhere in the world. The children’s rights lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys feel it is our duty to educate and create maximum awareness of this atrocity. Understanding key issues could mark the difference between recognizing signs of trouble or not. We are one of many groups that is working to raise awareness of child sexual abuse. The federal government is another.
Below are some statistics regarding child sexual abuse and some signs to watch for in children in your life.
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics – NSOPW
NSOPW stands for National Sex Offender Public Website. It was established in 2005 to track information regarding sex offenders, and part of the data provided involve sexual abuse of children. A link to the Web site can be found here. Below are just a few statistics that will likely come as a surprise to many people:
- Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States have been victims of sexual assault.
- 1 in 6 boys in the United States is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 1 in 4 girls in the United States is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 82 percent of all juvenile victims of sexual assault are female.
- More than two-thirds of teen sexual assaults that were reported occurred in the residence of the victim, the offender or another individual.
The words “were reported” above are especially important, because only about 30 percent of sexual assault cases are actually reported to authorities.
Child Sexual Abuse Online
Sadly, the Internet has provided another avenue for abusers to seek out minor victims. Below are some statistics regarding child sexual abuse that begins or occurs online:
- 13 percent of child Internet users have received unwanted sexual solicitations.
- 76 percent of initial encounters between children and predators online took place in a chat room.
- Nearly half of all sexual predators offered gifts or money to minors while building a relationship.
- 11 percent of teens and young adults have shared naked photos of themselves online or in text messages.
- 26 percent of those people who sent nude photos do not believe that the recipients of them shared them with anyone else.
These statistics will hopefully prompt parents to keep an eye on what their children are doing while surfing the Internet.
Signs of Child Sexual Abuse
- Sudden change in eating habits
- Sudden mood swings
- Talks about a new older friend
- Suddenly has money or new things/gifts
- Thinks of his/her own body as repulsive or dirty
There are others, but the bottom line is that child sexual abuse can happen to anyone, and we all need to be vigilant. If you recognize any warning signs, act on those instincts and seek the proper help.
If your child has been sexually abused and you’re not sure where to get started on holding those responsible accountable, contact the San Diego child abuse attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys to schedule a free initial consultation.