What's the problem?
Child sex abuse is any sexual activity involving a child (under the age of 18) that violates the law. These acts include but are not limited to inappropriate touching, exposing children to pornography, child prostitution, and sexual communication. Child sex abuse is a preventable problem. But, prevention requires action and it’s up to each of us to do our part.
How big is the problem?
A large number of child sex abuse acts are reported years after they have taken place, with some never being reported at all. Armed with that information, it is still agreed among many organizations that 500,000 children born in the U.S. this year will experience some form of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday.
In fact, in 2018, over 18 million incidents of child sex abuse were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). This report included more that 45 million online images and videos. However, these figures only included the content found and reported by tech companies, so the true figures are likely even higher than what was reported.
No matter what age a child has been victimized, the effects of this trauma often last a lifetime. Survivors of child sex abuse are likely to experience adverse physical, mental and behavioral consequences that influence every area of their daily lives. But, the effects do not end with the individual. In 2015, the CDC estimated the total cost of child sex abuse in the US to be $9.3 Billion.
Knowing the facts can help you understand, recognize and fight against child sexual abuse.