Child Abuse Facts

Neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment, followed by physical abuse.

Children age 6 and younger are the most vulnerable to abuse.

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18.

Ninety-five percent of victims know their abusers. Perpetrators may include family members, friends, and acquaintances.

Nine out of 10 victims of abuse won’t tell anyone. Most children do not disclose abuse until adulthood, if ever.

Disclosure of child sexual abuse is a gradual process.

Symptoms of sexual abuse in younger children:

Nightmares or disturbed sleeping patterns
Bed wetting
Fecal soiling
Fecal smearing
Regression to more infantile behavior
Loss of appetite
Aggressive behavior
Withdrawing or clinging  behavior

Symptoms of sexual abuse in older children:

Change in School performance
Eating disorders, sudden weight gain or loss
Suicide attempts
Self-mutilation – Cutting or rubbing with erasers
Depression and withdrawal
Drug and alcohol abuse
Poor self-image
Aggressive behavior
Running away or aversion toward going home
Change in hygiene habits
Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare


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