What Exactly Constitutes Child Sexual Abuse?

There are many definitions, but a working definition of child sexual abuse is “a violation of a trust relationship with unequal power and/or advanced knowledge, the need for secrecy, and sexual activity.” (Identifying Child Molesters: Preventing Sexual Abuse by Recognizing the Patterns of the Offenders. van Dam, C. 2001)

The lack of knowledge of what constitutes child sexual abuse creates “confusion” as to some of the “warning signs” that should be heeded instead of ignored, which in turn helps to protect child sexual abusers while they continue to victimize children and their families. (Identifying Child Molesters: Preventing Sexual Abuse by Recognizing the Patterns of the Offenders. van Dam, C. 2001)

Parents who fail to recognize or deny the onset of the child sexual abuse become “unconscious co-conspirators” by failing to heed the warning signs or not wanting to believe that it can happen to their child. (Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane). de Becker, G. 1999)

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