In the best of all worlds, a young person would never be harmed physically, sexually or emotionally. Unfortunately, this isn't the best of all worlds, and many young persons are abused by people who should protect them.
Sexual abuse is any sexual act with a young person performed by an adult or older child. This person may be in a position of power or authority over the young person, and may bribe, threaten or trick the young person into performing sexual acts.
Sexual abuse can include direct sexual contact, as well as less obvious actions, such as showing the genitals to the young person, showing pornographic or "dirty" pictures or videos, or using the young person as a model in pictures or videos.
What To Do If You Are Abused
If something has happened to you that you know isn't right, tell someone. You can choose to tell:
- Your parents.
- A minister, priest or other clergy member.
- A medical professional.
- A school teacher, counselor or coach.
- Any adult that you trust.
Every person has the right to be protected from abuse.
Suspect Someone is Being Abused?
If you suspect that someone is being abused, be a friend and reach out to talk with them and help them get professional help.
Last Reviewed: December 2019