Child sexual abuse is the exploitation of a child for sexual gratification by an adult or any significantly older person. It is called incest if it occurs between family members, including mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, adoptive and step relations, legitimate or illegitimate children or relatives of whole or half blood. Child sexual abuse should not be confused with physical contacts between an adult and a child that are fond or playful expressions of love. Responsible adults limit their physical exchange with a child, respect the child and at the same time, maintain a warm, healthy, affectionate relationship.
In 2012, the Police Statistics recorded over 5,000 sexual crime cases out of which 65% of the victims are children, i.e. below the age of 18 years. Most of the perpetrators/abusers are usually people known to the child, i.e. – fathers, stepfathers, relatives, grandparents, tuition teachers, and neighbours. The perpetrators of child sexual abuse may appear perfectly normal to those who know him.
A child who is sexually abused feels that their life is different from the rest of the other children. The child might experience different emotions such as:
It is difficult to identify a sexually abused child especially if the child does not tell you directly. Some times there are things that the child said or certain behaviour that may be indicate of sexual abuse. Victims of sexual abuse may have some of the following signs and symptoms: