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Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse Michael Stiefvater Sexual Abuse At one time I thought about how child sexual abuse was growing concern in our society. Stories and interviews on TV and in the paper would keep me aware, but I always thought about how it was always happening to everyone else. One figure that lingered around in my mind was that one in six children would be a victim of sexual abuse. Having six children of my own I thought of these statistics. Knocking on wood so to speak, until it happened in our family.

Sexual abuse can destroy a family, especially when the perpetrator is considered a member of the family. It is frustrating when someone that is trusted betrays that trust. Family members become angry , divided and deny that anything is wrong. The effects on the victim is the toughest thing to deal with. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child abuse and neglect as at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.

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Some states have exceptions, but the term child refers to someone not yet 18. Then CAPTA defines sexual abuse as: the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexual explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; or the rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or any other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.

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