Understanding Child Sexual Abuse

What is Child Sexual Abuse?
An act performed by an adult or an older person that uses a child for sexual stimulation or gratification is called child sexual abuse (CSA). It is a form of molestation and more often than not, the child may not even realize what is happening to him/her.

Child sexual abuse can be perpetrated in different ways apart from the act of sexually touching/indulging with a child. This includes (and is not limited to) showing a child pornographic content or nudity, making them undress against their wishes when not required, exposing genitals in front of them or forcing them to see someone undress or using a child for pornography.

The consequences of such an act of molestation on a child is multifold. The child goes into a shell and stops communicating with others properly, or may go into depression or may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In some cases, the perpetrator of such an act of sexual abuse is a person the child knows personally. This could either mean a family member or a close family friend. In such cases, the adverse effects on the child is much worse since they may have to keep interacting with the perpetrator often. The long-term effects of CSA on a child can be highly traumatizing, especially if the child does not open up about it to safe adults and suffers in silence. In a lot of cases, the abusers blackmail the children into silence such that their identity is not revealed and continue to abuse the child for gratifying their own needs.

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