Sexual abuse is the most shaming of all abuse. It takes less sexual abuse than any other form of abuse to induce shame. Sexual abuse is widespread. It is estimated that there are currently some 60 million victims of sexual violence.
Studies of the prevalence of sexual abuse are those involving adults that explore the extent to which they experience sexual victimization during their childhoods. Findings are somewhat inconsistent for several reasons. First, the definition of sexual abuse and secondly, definitions may differ based on the age difference between victim and offender.
By definition, the sexual abuse of children occurs when someone imposes sexual behavior on a young person who may not understand what is happening. The abuse is usually taking place against the younger person's will. Child sexual abuse victims range in age from infancy to adolescence. Some reports indicate that one third to one half of the victims is under the age of seven. According to one report, it is estimated that approximately 71% of child sex offenders are under the age of thirty-five and knows the victim at least casually.
Children who have been sexually abused may show symptoms or changes in behavior. Some common symptoms are Regression, such as thumb sucking, clingy behavior, and bladder control; Sleeping disturbances, such as wetting the bed or a fear of sleeping alone; Eating disorders, such as bulimia, overeating, and anorexia.
Some children may also have physical symptoms, including sexually transmitted diseases; bloodstains on underwear; unexplained genital injuries; pregnancy; bruises, bites or scratches, especially around the breasts, buttocks, genital or neck areas; and penile or vaginal discharge.
There are many consequences that occur and affect a child from child abuse. These problems do not always occur right away they can also reoccur at any time of that person's life. There are many consequences which involve short term and long term effects.