What is child sexual abuse?

Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse that includes sexual activity with a minor. A child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, period. When a perpetrator engages with a child this way, they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim for years. Child sexual abuse does not need to include physical contact between a perpetrator and a child. Some forms of child sexual abuse include:

  • Exhibitionism, or exposing oneself to a minor
  • Fondling
  • Intercourse
  • Masturbation in the presence of a minor or forcing the minor to masturbate
  • Obscene phone calls, text messages, or digital interaction
  • Producing, owning, or sharing pornographic images or movies of children
  • Sex of any kind with a minor, including vaginal, oral, or anal
  • Sex trafficking
  • Any other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare

Where can I get help?

  • If you want to talk to someone anonymously, call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 800.4.A.CHILD (422-4453), any time 24/7.
  • Learn more about being an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
  • To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.