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Perth & Kinross Violence Against Women Partnership

Child Sexual Abuse

This is when a child is used sexually by an adult or young person and happens when a child or young person is pressurised, forced or tricked into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with an adult or young person. This can include kissing, touching the young person's genitals or breasts, intercourse or oral sex.

Child sex abusers:

  • can come from any professional, racial or religious background, and can be male or female
  • are not always adults - children and young people can also behave in a sexually abusive way
  • are usually known to the child - they may be a family member or a family friend.

What they do:

  • Abusers may act alone or as part of an organised group.
  • They sometimes prefer children of a particular age, sex, physical type or ethnic background.
  • After the abuse, they may put the child under great pressure not to tell anyone about it.
  • They often go to great lengths to get close to children and win their trust.

Sometimes they will:

  • Choose employment that brings them into contact with children
  • Pretend to be children in internet chat rooms run for children and young people.

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