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Resources Child Sexual Abuse
Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse occurs when a person, whether young or old, male or female, uses a child for his or her own sexual gratification. It can involve forcing, tricking or threatening a child into sexual activity. Sexual abuse can be physical or verbal and can cover a range of sexual behaviour including:
A sex offender can come from any profession, religion or racial background. They may be:
Any child of any age or race is a potential victim of sexual abuse. It can occur in poor, middle class or wealthy families. Sexual abuse can take place anywhere, at anytime, to able or disabled children.
According to the Child Act 2001, 'children' in this context refers to a person who is under 18 years of age.
How will I know if a child is being sexually abused?
The effects can vary depending on a child's personality and the severity of the incident. Symptoms may not always be obvious, and there may be no behavioural changes, particularly if that child is not aware that what is being done to them is sexual abuse. The following may indicate that a child is being sexually abused: