Myths and Facts about Sexual Abuse

There are many common myths about child sexual abuse. Here are some of the more common myths and the facts to increase our common knowledge.

Myth: Sexual victimization as a child will inevitably result in the child growing up to be a sex offender.
Fact: Most children who were sexually abused never grow up to perpetrate against others.

Myth: Long term effects of abuse only affects those who have repeated or violent sexual abuse.
Fact: There are many factors that impact the degree of harm from sexual abuse to an individual. Any amount or type of sexual abuse to a child is likely to cause long-term negative consequences.

Myth: Time heals all wounds – survivors eventually forget their abuse and move on with their lives.
Fact: Not only does time not ease the effects of childhood sexual abuse, it often compounds the effects. The deep personal violation of sexual abuse does not simply go away over time, nor do survivors get over it with time.

Myth: Only men sexually abuse children.
Fact: It is estimated that women are the abusers in about 14% of cases reported among boys and 6% of cases reported among girls.

Myth: Sexual abuse is a cultural or socioeconomic problem.
Fact: Sexual abuse crosses all socioeconomic, neighborhood, race and class barriers. It happens in large and small families; in cities and in rural areas; in wealthy and lower income neighborhoods; and in homes, churches and schools.

Myth: The term “sexual abuse” only applies to abuse that involves physical touch.
Fact: Child sexual abuse is not solely restricted to physical contact; such abuse could include noncontact abuse, such as exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography.

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