Myths & Facts About Child Sexual Abuse
Myth: Only strangers sexually abuse strangers.
Fact: Most incidents of sexual abuse involve relatives, neighbors, friends, or babysitters. Up to 85% of attackers are friends or relatives.
Myth: Children make up stories about sexual abuse.
Fact: Children do not imagine sexual experiences. Very few children lie about such things or have the sexual knowledge to do so.
Myth: Children should always obey their elders.
Fact: Children have the right to say no, and should be taught to exercise their rights when they are bothered or touched in a way that is inappropriate. It is okay to yell or run for help or tell an adult.
Myth: Child abuse most likely occurs in poor neighborhoods and to uneducated people.
Fact: Child sexual abuse can occur anywhere and involve anyone: rich or poor, male or female, young or old, educated or uneducated.
Myth: Sexual assault of children is rare.
Fact: Children are sexually assaulted more often than they are beaten.
Myth: Attackers of children are disturbed or sexually deprived.
Fact: Most attackers have families and regular sexual outlets.
Myth: Some children are promiscuous or seductive.
Fact: Children do not ask to be sexually abused. Adults are at fault.
Myth: Children make up stories to get attention.
Fact: Most children are too embarrassed, frightened or inexperienced to talk about the attack. Children rarely lie about sexual assault.
Myth: Discussing the assault will only scare the child.
Fact: Children need the facts to help them know what fears are real and what fears are imagined.