Sexual violence violates a person's trust and feelings of safety. It occurs any time a person is forced, coerced, and/or manipulated into any unwanted sexual activity. The continuum of sexual violence includes rape, incest, child sexual assault, ritual abuse, date and acquaintance rape, statutory rape, marital or partner rape, sexual exploitation, sexual contact, sexual harassment, exposure, and voyeurism.

Rape is a crime. It is motivated by the need to control, humiliate, and harm. It is not motivated by sexual desire. Rapists use sex as a weapon to dominate others.

What is child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse is any sexual contact between a child and an adult (or older child) that results in sexual stimulation and gratification for the adult. Child sexual abuse includes:

  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Sodomy
  • Indecent assault
  • Sexual touching or fondling of the child's genitals
  • Exposing children to adult sexual activity
  • Exposing the child to adult movies and photographs
  • Sexualized talk
  • Having the child pose, undress or perform in a sexual nature
  • Voyeurism
  • Forced prostitution

Since most children seek approval from adults, they are vulnerable to abuse. Children are taught to respect authority, and are used to adults doing things they don't understand. The use of physical force is rarely necessary to draw a child into sexual activity. Offenders know this and take advantage of children in this way. Usually, sexual abuse begins gradually and then increases over time. It is rarely a one-time incident; it often continues for years. Children are often groomed for sexual assault. The grooming process includes building trust, bestowing favors, alienating others, demanding secrecy, and violating boundaries.

How We Can Help

Our program offers specialized medical examinations to victims of child sexual abuse who do not disclose the abuse within the first 72 hours. These exams are conducted by a Certified Nurse Practitioner and by an internationally board certified nurse in Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner - Pediatrics, both whom have extensive additional training in examining pediatric victims. The multidisciplinary team has developed a protocol in handling reports of suspected child sexual abuse. We work very closely in efforts to provide the best possible wrap-around care to the victims and their families.