Child sexual abuse has been called the "silent epidemic" because it is so vastly under reported and because it is a topic so seldom discussed. The sensitive nature of the subject, misconceptions about the nature of sexual abuse, social biases, and the prejudices and myths associated with sexual abuse all contribute to public avoidance. But...It’s Time to Talk!
Statistics & Information
At RAACE, our #1 goal is to expose the hidden fact that child sexual abuse exists at epidemic levels and is far more common than people think — 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused by age 18. Only 1 in 10 children who are sexually abused will ever tell anyone.1 Knowing some of the reasons why children don’t tell when they are abused helps us understand both the power and control offenders have over their victims.
Why Children Don't Tell
- Ambivalent feelings towards the offender
- Not understanding that they have been abused
- Fear of the consequences
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- Fear of not being believed
- Not wanting to burden the family
- Lack of vocabulary
- Some children try to tell but we don’t recognize their cry for help
One of the ways to stop sexual abuse is to talk about it. Once children know that it is alright to tell, they may be able to stop the abuse sooner, or hopefully before it happens. Prevention is always the best solution, and that’s why RAACE needs adults like you to take the initiative to educate yourselves and your family about the facts regarding child sexual abuse.
Think you know what a pedophile looks like? Think again.
Contrary to popular belief, those who abuse children do not stand out. They usually are not “scary”, “creepy” or “weird”. In fact, over 90% of offenders are someone the child knows and trusts. Hiding in plain sight, child molesters go out of their way to create the appearance of being upright, responsible citizens. They insert themselves into situations where they have easy access to children and strive to create situations in which they can be alone with a child.10
An estimated 80-90% of offenders are male, while 10-20% of offenders are female. About 40% of offenders of children under 12 are children or adolescents themselves.11
Grooming is the process by which an offender draws a child into a sexual relationship and maintains that relationship in secrecy.12
Fact: Grooming increases the predator’s access to his victim and decreases the likelihood of discovery. The establishment (and eventual betrayal) of affection and trust occupies a central role in the child molester’s interactions with children....The grooming process often seems similar from offender to offender, largely because it takes little to discover that emotional seduction is the most effective way to manipulate children.13
In The Process of Grooming:10
- A nonsexual relationship is established
- Child molesters gain the trust of victims and their families, and seek time alone with the kids
- Sexualization of the relationship takes place gradually
- The Child’s cooperation & silence are maintained by various forms of coercion
- The Child accommodates to increased sexual demands with increasing sense of betrayal and guilt
- Most perpetrators will continue to abuse children if they are not reported and stopped
- Nearly 70% of child sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victims; at least 20% have 10 to 40 victims
- An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime
Children require the protection of adults. Their fear of people is not yet developed, their intuition not yet loaded with enough information and experience to keep them from harm.12
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