Facts about Sexual Abuse
- Approximately 35% of women and 20% of men in the US were victims of sexual abuse as children.
- 85% of child abuse takes place with a family member or friend in the home.
- Child sexual abuse is reported up to 80,000 times a year, but, because the children are afraid to tell and the legal procedure for validating the episode is difficult, the number of unreported instances is far greater.
- Almost all of the children will be abused by someone they know and trust: a family member, a family friend, or a caretaker.
- The abuse often begins gradually (fondling) and increases over time.
- Incestuous behavior is not confined to sexual intercourse. Incest can include nudity, disrobing, genital exposure, kissing, fondling, digital penetration, and sodomy.
- Incest survives on secrecy. Most victims feel isolated from the rest of the world. The effects of incest are devastating. Short-term ones include behavioral problems, addictions, sexual promiscuity, and a sudden drop in grades. Long-term effects include anxiety, chronic depression, sleep disorders.