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Childhood Sexual Abuse Children have an unconditional trust for their parents the moment they are born. This trust is generalized to many adults; however, some seemingly trustworthy adults can be the most dangerous by taking advantage of a child’s innocence. Cruise (2004) states that most children know their perpetrator and feel comfortable in their presence. Breaking such a genuine trust causes lifelong detrimental consequences. Childhood sexual abuse has many definitions, but Collin-Vézina, Daigneault, and Hébert (2013) define it “as any sexual activity perpetrated against a minor by threat, force, intimidation, or manipulation” (p. 7). Despite the form of sexual abuse, children are not developmentally prepared physically or emotionally to see, hear or experience this type of act. Although adults view childhood sexual abuse as a clear violation of boundaries, children may not completely believe it is the perpetrators fault. Children can have a multitude of beliefs such as they deserve the abuse, the abuse it their fault, and that abuse is a way that the perpetrator shows love. Unfortunately, many children do not talk about the abuse, so parents and guardians need to be aware of the warning signs that sexual abuse is possibly occurring. Signs of Sexual Abuse Children exhibit characteristic behaviors when they are victims of sexual abuse. Parents and guardians can intervene early if the behaviors are recognized and the perpetrator is stopped. Symptoms vary based on the age of the child with a set of similar symptoms occurring in younger children (10 and younger), another set in older children (over 10), and a few behaviors seen in both groups. Younger Children When younger children are sexually abused, they tend to e... ... middle of paper ... ...ma, so parents, guardians, and professions must proceed with caution. In addition to nonsexual symptoms and sexual symptoms, Child Welfare Information Gateway (2014) claim that children should be trusted when accusing someone of sexual abuse, because they are typically telling the truth. Works Cited Collin-Vézina, D., Daigneault, I., & Hébert, M. (2013). Lessons learned from child sexual abuse research: Prevalence, outcomes, and preventive strategies. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 7, 1-9. doi:10.1186/1753-2000-7-22 Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2014). Child sexual abuse. Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/sexabuse/index.cfm Cruise, T., K. (2004). Sexual abuse of children and adolescents. Retrieved from National Association of School Psychologists website: http://www.nasponline.org/educators/ sexualabuse.pdf

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