One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.
- Forest E. Witcraft

What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

Child sexual abuse is the exploitation or coercion of a child. Child sexual abuse involves a continuum of behavior that ranges from verbal, non-physical abuse to forcible touching offenses. It can range from a single encounter with an exhibitionist, to confusing occasional fondling by a casual acquaintance, to years of ongoing abuse by a relative or family member, to rape and/or exploitation through prostitution and pornography.

Who are the Offenders?

Child sexual abusers are likely to be people we know, and could even care about. Most child abusers are fathers, stepparents, grandparents and other family members. Older children and peers also abuse children. Offenders may be neighbors, babysitters, ministers, teachers, coaches, or anyone else who has close contact with our children. Eighty to ninety percent of all cases include an offender who is someone the child knows or trusts. In approximately half of these cases, the trusted adult is a father or stepfather.