Parents, of course, want the best for their children. They want them to excel in school, make great friends, have a good, healthy life, and be safe. While you may have a safe and healthy home, children can suffer harm outside the household. Unfortunately, there are many sexually abused children in this nation, and sexual abuse can affect any family.
Most children are surrounded by lots of different people on a regular basis, including:
- Leaders in after-school organizations
- Day care workers
- Older children
- Friends of the family
While your immediate household may provide a loving environment, your child may be getting sexually abused from someone else who participates in his or her life. According to the American Psychological Association, research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that approximately one in four girls and one in six boys in this country are sexually abused, often by male sexual abusers who are not related to the child. Those numbers may be quite low, as many cases go unreported.
The National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD) reports that about 60 percent of child sexual abusers are not related to the victim but know the child in some other way. They could be a neighbor, a babysitter, or a friend of the family.
On the other hand, you cannot rule out relatives. According to government research, approximately three out of every ten child sexual abusers are family members, such as uncles, cousins, grandfathers, or even fathers.
Given those statistics, that means child sexual abusers are hardly ever complete strangers to their victims—only about one out of every ten child sexual abuse cases.
Parents cannot rule out anyone as a suspect, but they should be aware that abusers are most likely men who know the child. However, women are also abusers in approximately 14 percent of the reported cases involving boys and in 6 percent of reported cases involving girls, the NCPTSD noted.
If your child has told you that he or she is being sexually abused in Florida, or if you have other reason to believe that your child is being abused sexually, you should contact us for a complimentary copy of our book When the Unthinkable Happens: Your Guide to Florida Child Abuse Claims. You need to know how to recognize the signs and what you should do if your child has been the victim of sexual abuse.
To find out more about protecting your child and your family’s rights, contact a Sarasota child abuse attorney at the Mallard Law Firm. Call (888) 409-3805 today for a free, confidential consultation.