MYTHS & FACTS about SEXUAL ABUSE
MYTH: Child sexual abuse is a cultural or socio-economic problem.
FACT: Sexual abuse crosses all barriers. It happens in large and small families, in cities and rural areas, and in homes, schools and churches.
MYTH: All child victims tell of their abuse.
FACT: Most sexually abused children do not disclose their abuse, even when directly asked by parents or other authority figures. Children may take time to process what has occurred and realize that they should tell, but even then, they may be too afraid that the news will hurt or trouble their family, or that they won’t be believed. Sometimes they are threatened in some way by the offender.
MYTH: Children who are sexually abused will grow up to abuse others.
FACT: Child sexual victimization does not automatically lead to sexually aggressive behaviors. If a child discloses an incident of abuse early and is believed and supported by family and friends, they have a much higher likelihood of coping with the trauma and moving forward into adulthood positively.
MYTH: Children are only sexually abused by men.
FACT: Although male offenders tend to be the majority of reported cases of abuse, reports show that female perpetrators and child-on-child incidents are on the rise. Female offenders have been reported in cases of abuse of both male and female children.
Click HERE for more information about understanding sexual violence. This information has been provided by the Hearts of Hope Education Director, Val Senegal.