Imagine your six-year-old son and daughter was molested by a 12-year-old boy. As a parent, you demand justice for this horrible act. Many people do not realize the statics of child on child sexual abuse. Many parents think about the adults like uncles or coaches but what about the cousin, friend or brother who is only 14 that may sexually abuse your child.
This is a horrible situation to deal with and many parents will ask the question, “Do children really sexually abuse other children” or “Does it really happen?” In an article by Defend Innocence it states that one third of all perpetrators are children under the age of 18, which means this is a reality and must be addressed.
The term Child On Child Sexual Abuse (COCSA) is defined as sexual activity between children that occurs without consent, without equality (mentally, physically or in age) or as a result of physical or emotional coercion.
When a child commits this sexual act towards another child it has the same impact as if an adult committed the sexual act. Many times, the adults will dismiss the act as “kids just being kids.” The truth is both children need help in this situation. The child being abused needs to have the appropriate care to avoid the lifelong trauma. The child who is doing the abusing needs the proper care to avoid a life of destruction.
5 Facts about child on child sexual abuse:
- Early adolescents between age 12-14 are at the peak of child offenders.
- 70% of perpetrators have between 1-9 victims.
- 40% of children sexually abused are abused by older or more powerful children.
- Sex offenses are the crimes least likely to involve strangers as perpetrators.
- Children who disclose their abuse within one month are at a reduced risk for depression.
Elizabeth Letourneau, Director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, states that through her research:
She asserts that current laws do almost nothing to prevent child sexual abuse and do not reflect the true nature of many sex offenses. And she goes further: She asserts that current laws punish children who actually need intervention and supervision rather than punishment, and in so doing they inflict unnecessary pain and danger on innocent people, sometimes even the assault victims themselves.
As a community we need to be more aware of the child on child sexual abuse that happens. The dangers of abuse are real and very relevant in our current time. Talk to your children about sex and pornography. Check in with your kids often ask them questions. Above all share facts and have open communication so they feel safe to share their feelings with you. If needed please get your child help if you feel your child is the offender look up Juvenile Sex Offender, Therapists.