Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)
Child sexual abuse is when a child or young person under 18 years of age is forced or coerced to engage in sexual activity for the gratification/arousal of another.
It is important to remember, that any child is at risk of being sexually abused and both boys and girls can be sexually abused. It is also not exclusive to one class, culture, or society. In fact, it happens to children in every kind of family and community regardless of age, gender or race. Sexual abuse can be experienced in person or online. Children can be sexually abused by someone known to them or by a stranger. This can also happen online.
When a person/adult engages with a child in a sexual way they are committing a crime which without appropriate therapeutic supports can have long lasting effects on the child/adolescent.
The Impact of Sexual Abuse
Children/teenagers who experience child sexual abuse can have short and long-term effects.
- Feelings of shame and guilt
- Anxiety and depression
- Difficulties in concentration
- Eating disorders and/or obsessive behaviours
- Post-traumatic stress and difficulties coping with stress
- Self-harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide
- Drug and alcohol problems
- Confusion and problems in relationships with family members, friends and partners.