The Psychology of Trauma

Sexual Abuse

Who are the victims of child sexual abuse?

According to government statistics, adolescent girls are the most common victims of child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse of pre-pubescent boys and girls is still widespread, however. In 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Health, there were approximately 56,460 cases of child sexual abuse reported to the authorities, 30,160 (53 percent) involved children under the age of twelve. Most children are abused by someone they know, 34.2 percent by family members, 58.7 percent by friends or acquaintances, and 7.0 percent by strangers, according to FBI statistics.


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