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About Sexual Abuse

The Facts of Sexual Abuse

  1. The majority of sexual abusers are known to the victim and their family. However, "stranger danger" is also a possibility.
  2. Numerous experts predict that 1 in 3 girls will be sexually abused before age 18 and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused in his youth.
  3. Men and women, as well as children and young adults can perform sexual abuse.  A majority of molesters are men over age 18.
  4. Molesters attain greater power when adults see something, like an 'accidental slip' of the hand, but say nothing to stop or prevent inappropriate behavior.
  5. New York State has some of the Nation's strongest child protection laws and conviction for a sexual assault of a child. Conviction can result in extensive jail time. 

Identifying Child Molesters:

  1. There are no hard and fast rules about what "makes" a person a child molester. The reality is that sex offenders can be anyone, any gender, any creed, race or age.  They can be a family member, a friend or stranger.
  2. Child molesters may take on certain types of behavior like having few adult friends, being socially distant with adults, or having keen interest in friendships with minors and doing favors for them or giving gifts.
  3. Molesters are sometimes known to 'groom' the children, parents and community -- lulling them into a false sense of security and trust. They blend into the surroundings, befriend children and parents alike, and become beyond reproach and blame.
  4. Sexual offenders often start young, 'peeping toms' or lewdness starts anywhere from age 8 on and acts/assaults tend to escalate in severity.
  5. Offenders are often seeking power over someone weak and trusting. They may or may not maintain 'normal' physical relationships with adults.
  6. Misunderstood "non-injury" abuse and actions could include anything from tickling, roughhousing, and voyeurism, to wrestling and/or caressing.