Prevent and detect child sexual abuse in time

According to the WHO, one in five adult women and one in 13 adult men report being sexually abused as children. OECD data from 2014 shows that among participating countries, Mexico ranks first in sexual abuse and homicide among children under the age of 14. The most alarming thing is that only 30% of sexual assaults on minors are reported.

What is child sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is any forced sexual activity between a child and someone else. These activities are divided into sexual behaviors without physical contact and sexual behaviors with physical contact.

Sexual behaviors without physical contact include:

  • Sexual comments in front of the child.
  • Showing the genitals in front of the child, sometimes there may be masturbation.
  • Spy on the child while bathing or changing.
  • Exhibition of child or adolescent pornography.
  • Encourage the child or adolescent to undress or masturbate in front of the abuser.

Sexual behaviors with physical contact are:

  • Touching private parts above or under clothing.
  • Encourage the child to touch the abuser.
  • Digital or object penetration (either in the anus or the vagina).
  • Oral sex
  • penis penetration

Contexts in which sexual abuse can occur:

  • Victim and aggressor
  • group sex
  • Sex rounds
  • sexual exploitation
  • child pornography
  • child prostitution

Risk factors

30% of child victims of sexual abuse were victims of a parent, 60% of an acquaintance and only 10% did not know their abuser.

Unfortunately, there is no specific profile in children that determines the occurrence of abuse or violence, Nor a specific profile of a child sex offender. Abusers can be of any age, sex and religion, generally representing figures of respect or authority for the child (always the parents themselves).

All minors are susceptible to being raped in one way or another, especially children under the age of 4, but there are also situations that could increase the risk of sexual abuse, for example:

  • Minors in the care of a person other than their parents.
  • Lack of sex education.
  • Need for affection and / or attention.
  • New couples of parents.
  • Shyness and / or isolation.
  • Low self esteem.
  • Lack of communication in the family.
  • Adolescents with a history of drug addiction.
  • Physical or intellectual disability.

Alarm signals

It has present and recurring red flags in children who have been raped, although they cannot always be easily detected, these are:


Behavioral red flags:

  • Games: young children use their puppets to stage the abuse they have suffered.
  • Bedwetting and / or ecopression.
  • Any setback in development for no apparent reason.
  • Berrinches
  • The terrors of a night.
  • School failure.
  • Related issues.
  • Hypersexuality and / or autoeroticism.
  • Unusual sexual knowledge by age.
  • Compulsive masturbation.

Physical alarm signals:

  • Irritation in the genital area.
  • Sexually transmitted infections.
  • Hits, bruises or any sign of physical violence.
  • Frequent headache or stomach ache.

emotional signals:

  • Mood swings
  • cry
  • boredom
  • anxiety
  • Lack of motivation


Behavioral red flags:

  • social isolation
  • school failure
  • addictions
  • Difficulty sleeping or trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unusual sexual knowledge for age
  • prostitution
  • promiscuity
  • rebellion
  • Home leaks

Physical alarm signals:

emotional signals:

How to prevent sexual abuse of children?

What to do in case of suspected sexual abuse?

Abusers can be men and women, of any age (Other minors can also be abusers) and religion in general is a figure of respect or authority for the minor.

If child sexual abuse is suspected, measures should be taken to protect the integrity of the child at all times. It should never be forgotten that this is a crime that must be reported to the appropriate authorities, regardless of the origin of the sexual abuse.

Examinations for sexual abuse should include a medical and psychological assessment with professionals trained in this diagnosis.

The prognosis will depend on several factors, such as: the age of the child, the context, the support network and the situation of abuse. However, all children who have been sexually abused need a therapeutic process tailored to their needs and possibly medical attention as well, depending on the physical harm.

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