What is Child Sexual Abuse?

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 13, 2008 11:32 hrs

Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is the use of a child for sexual gratification by an older or more powerful person. The offender is usually an adult, but could also be a more powerful child. Both girls and boys are vulnerable. Besides being a public health concern, it is a crime punishable by law.

Types of Child Sexual Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse includes the following touching and non-touching behaviors (but need not be limited only to these acts).

  • Touching behaviors include:

  • Fondling a child's body for sexual pleasure

  • Kissing a child with sexual undertones/inclinations.

  • Rubbing genitals against a child's body.

  • Sexually touching a child's body, and specifically private parts and encouraging or forcing a child to do likewise.

  • Making a child touch someone else's genitals, or playing sexual games.

  • Encouraging or forcing a child to masturbate, with the child as either a participant or observer.

  • Encouraging or forcing a child to perform oral sex (mouth-to-genital contact on or by the child)

  • Inserting objects or body parts (like fingers, tongue or penis) inside the vagina, mouth, or anus of a child; includes attempts of these acts.

    Non-touching behaviors include:

  • Encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts either in person or lowering the bars of privacy

  • Looking at a child sexually

  • Exposing one's private body parts to a child (exhibitionism)

  • Watching a child in a state of nudity, such as while undressing, using the bathroom, with or without the child's knowledge (voyeurism)

  • An adult making suggestive comments to the child that are sexual in nature.

  • Commenting on the sexual development of a child

  • Encouraging or forcing a child to read/watch pornography, giving pornographic material or using the child in pornography Source: www.tulir.org

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