Despite popular notions to the contrary, strangers commit fewer than 4 percent of all the sexual assaults against children."
The statistics from the US Dept of Justice are so sick we could not post them. If you are strong click here:
Ohio Statute of Limitations
The current statute of limitations for the following sexually-based offenses is 20 years:
2. Sexual Battery;
3. Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor; and
4. Gross sexual imposition.
The statute of limitations was amended to the 20-year limit in 1999, and is retroactive.
What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse occurs when a person forces a child to have any form of sexual conduct or
makes a child perform sexual acts. This includes:
**Making a child touch the individual’s sexual organs
**Penetration of the child’s vagina or anus by an object that does not have a medical
**Masturbating in front of a child
**Deliberately allowing a child to view the act of intercourse
**Engaging the child in prostitution
**Exposing the child to pornographic material
**Filming or photographing the child for pornographic reasons’
Risk and Protective Factors
**Lack of knowledge of appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior
**High need for attention or affection
**Low self-esteem, self-confidence
**Taught to be obedient
**Poor decision-making or problem-solving skills
**Knowledgeable about appropriate and inappropriate sexual behavior
**High self-esteem, self-competence
**Have support persons
**Good problem-solving, decision-making skills
"Children are usually victimized by strangers."
FACT: Studies typically reveal that between 80-95% of children are victimized by someone they know. A recent study by CNN.com found that over 96% of all child abuse cases involved a perpetrator known to the victim.
"Only a pedophile would molest a child."
FACT:Child abuse does not always suggest pedophilia. There are two types of offenders, preferential offenders, more commonly referred to as pedophiles, and situational offenders, whose victims are chosen for a variety of reasons, including availability.
"Almost all sex offenders are male."
FACT:Approximately 20% of child abuse is committed by women. This myth is perhaps perpetuated by the fact that female offenders are not prosecuted to the same extent as their male counterparts, and account for only a small percentage of convicted offenders.
"Children don't abuse other children."
FACT:Almost one-third of child abuse offenders are juveniles themselves.
"All sex offenders fit a profile."
FACT:The characteristics of child sex abusers vary as widely as the type of abuse. Some acts are violent, malicious, and premeditated, whereas many involve abusers who have rationalized the offense so as to actually believe it was instigated by the victim. A study of offenders incarcerated for violent sexual assaults against children indicated that abusers come from all walks of life. The surprising majority, however, are white, married, were employed at the time of the offense, and were raised by both parents with no history of sexual abuse.
The Grooming Process
Steps the abuser takes to set up children
Offenders use many tactics to gain access to children. These include:
1. Seeking out a child they know: Abusers usually pick children who are easy
to get to (relatives, friends, and neighbors). They may also seek children who
have emotional needs for friendship and attention or who are developmentally
2. Establishing relationship with the child: Abusers often seek ways to build
trust and friendship with children. They may spend time playing with them,
volunteer for child care duty, become their “buddy,” or buy them candy or
3. Breaking down the child’s resistance to touch: Abusers may find ways to
touch children a lot. As a result, the children are often confused when the
touch becomes sexual. The abusers may play games with a lot of physical
contact, like wrestling, and they may tickle children and sneak sexual touches.
4. Finding ways to isolate a child: Abusers find excuses to be alone with
children so they can molest them. For example, they may baby sit, invite them
to sleep over, or take them camping.
5. Blaming the child and keeping the secret: Abusers try to make the children
feel responsible so they won’t tell. They use statements like these:
“You know you like the way I touch you.”
“If you tell, people will think you are bad.”
“If you tell ‘Our Little Secret,’ I will go to jail.”
“If you tell your mother or father, they won’t love you anymore.”
“If you tell ‘Our Little Secret’ I will hurt you or the family”
“No one will believe you, you’re just a child”
Nearly 25% of child victimizers were age 40 or older, but about 10% of the inmates with adult victims fell in that age range.
Convicted rape and sexual assault offenders serving time in State prisons report that two-thirds of their victims were under the age of 18, and 58% of those--or nearly 6 in 10 imprisoned violent sex offenders--said their victims were aged 12 or younger.
In over 90% of the rapes of children less than 12 years old, the child knew the offender, according to police-recorded incident data.
This problem affects all of us, whether you have children or not. According to the Center for Sex Offender Management, 30 percent of adult sex offenders were sexually abused as children. If we each do our part, we can break the cycle and protect our children from sexual predators.
Here are some other statistics about sex offenders and their young victims that may surprise you and debunk some myths.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the U.S.:
- Two-thirds (67 percent) of all victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were under the age of 18 at the time of the crime.
- One of every seven victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies was under age 6.
- The year in a male's life when he is most likely to be the victim of a sexual assault is age 4; a female's greatest risk is at age 14.
- Nearly half (49 percent) of the offenders of victims under age 6 were family members..
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the typical sex offender molests an average of 117 children, although most offenses are never reported.
- 80 percent of convicted adult rapists admit to molesting children.
- 80 to 95 percent of sex offenders assault people they know.
- Less than 30 percent of sex crimes are reported.
- Young victims who know or are related to the offender are least likely to report the crime.
It is estimated that in America there are 60 million childhood sexual abuse survivors.
Tips to Protect Our Children
Whether you have children of your own, nieces, nephews, siblings or friends with children, here are some easy-to-follow tips to help ensure the safety of the children in your life.
Trust Your Instincts
If a relationship between an adult and a child seems unusual or not quite right, it is worth investigating. Some common signs of abuse include:
An adult spends time with a child in unique or isolated situations.
The child withdraws from other friends and spends their time with one adult.
The child receives unexplained gifts.
Teach Children That Some Secrets Are Bad
An open line of communication between children and parents is paramount. Children should feel as if they could share anything with their parents. Teach children from a young age the difference between harmless secrets shared with their friends and inappropriate ones. Children should understand that there should never be secrets kept from parents.
Teach That Saying ”No” Is OK
We teach our children to respect authority and to do as they are told. However, kids should also understand that it is okay to say ”no” if they feel uncomfortable, regardless of whom they are confronting. It is helpful to practice this technique in different scenarios.
Role-play and Use ”What If” Scenarios
One of the best ways to teach children to say no is to role-play. You can pretend to be the perpetrator in different situations and ask your children for help finding a kitten or offer them a toy if they will come with you. Remind children that not all offenders are strangers. The perpetrator is more likely to be someone they know.
In addition, you can create ”what if” scenarios. Ask your children how they would react if they were in a dangerous situation. Also, ask why they would react that way.
Talk to Your Children About the Internet
The Internet can be an invaluable resource for information and educational material, but it can also be dangerous. Warn your children that they should never give out personal information online or meet someone in person that they met online. For more information on Internet safety and children, read ”Protecting Your Kids in the Real Virtual World.”
Remember Your Teenagers
We often think of young children as targets of sexual assault, however, teens can also be victims of sexual abuse and shouldn’t be forgotten. For more information on talking to your teens read ”Protecting Teens from Sexual Abuse.”
Use Stories in the Media as Teaching Tools
Your children may have questions about stories of abuse from the media. Their questions should be addressed directly at a level they can understand. This is a good opportunity to ask, ”What could you have done to prevent this situation?”
As concerned citizens, we can make our neighborhoods safer places for children. Through our efforts, we can lower the statistics and decrease the number of sex abuse stories we read in the media.
. (2006). Child Abuse Research and Statistics. From http://www.prevent-abuse-now.com/stats.htm#Disclosures
(n.d.). Colorado Convicted Sex Offender Site.
. (2006). Child Abuse Research and Statistics. From http://www.prevent-abuse-now.com/stats.htm#Impact
(n.d.). CSOM Publications. From http://www.csom.org/pubs/mythsfacts.html