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Child sexual abuse

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• As many as 90% of abusers are known and trusted by the child and his or her family.

• Child sexual abuse occurs when an adult or an older child coerces a child into sexual activity.

• Child sexual abuse may include fondling a child's genitals, masturbation, oral-genital contact, ­digital penetration, vaginal and/or anal intercourse, ­exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography.

• Child sexual abuse occurs in all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic groups, ages, and neighborhoods.

• Abusers and victims can be either male or female.

• Victimsof child sexual abuse are at far greater risk for residual emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and social symptoms that can persist and contribute to a host of psychiatric problems throughout life. These include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, high-risk sexual behavior, substance abuse, relationship problems, and suicide.

• A 1996 National Institute of Justice study estimated that each year child sexual abuse in America costs the nation $23 billion in medical, mental health, special education, and legal costs.

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