Sexual abuse occurs when a person forces a child to have any form of sexual contact or makes a child perform sexual acts. Sexual abuse may involve touching private parts (clothes or unclothed), penetration using an object, forced sexual acts between children, or making the child view, read or participate in pornography. These acts are abuse even when offenders say they were gentle and did not hurt the child.
Molestation & Exploitation
Sexual abuse is also known as molestation and exploitation. Sexual molestation does not always mean sexual intercourse. Sometimes older children molest younger or smaller children. Sexual acts between children become molestation when one child uses coercion, force, or violence to get the other child to do the acts. Children who molest should be reported to Clark County Family and Children Services so they can receive help.
Sexual molestation is overwhelming to children, especially when an adult is involved. Most children are taught to trust adults. They tend to believe what adults tell them is true rather than to rely on their own feelings. This works against them in 2 ways:
Difficulty of Reporting Abuse
- If the molester tells them that what is being done is OK, they may doubt their own feelings that it is not.
- If the parents' initial reaction upon hearing the child's molestation report is, "This can't be true!" the child may wonder if his or her own feelings are mistaken.
Children rarely tell about abuse. More often, they fear telling will make people angry with them. It is extremely difficult for children to report abuse
* Reference: “When Your Child Has Been Molested” by Kathryn B. Hagan