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In the last decade the concern about the sexual abuse of children in the United States has intensified During the 1980s researchers professionals and the general public came to realize the magnitude of this problem of sexual abuse Initially there was primarily a concern for girls but over time there became more acknowledgment of a vast amount of boys that were also victimized Turner 1996 Currently in the United States one out of three females and one out of five males have been victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18 years Dominguez Nelke and Perry 2002 Children who are sexually abused have many harmful consequences that remain throughout their lives Many of these children will have various short term and long term problems Childhood sexual abuse can be defined in two ways physical contact ie fondling either attempted or completed vaginal oral and anal intercourse or non-contact ie exhibitionism masturbation and exposure to sexually explicit or pornographic materials Wyatt Guthrie and Notgrass 1992 It is any sexual activity involving a child where consent is not or cannot be given In a report released by the National Institute of Justice in 1997 of the 223 million children in the United States between the ages of 12 and 17 years 18 million were victims of serious sexual abuse The type and severity of effects on children often depend on a variety of factors They include the age of the child when they were abused how long the experience lasted the degree of shame or guilt experienced by the child the development of the child and who the offender was The children that have been sexually abused may display negative behaviors and attitudes Kinnear 1995 When a child has been sexually abused by a parent or loved one his or her development will be affected by at least four factors self-image or how the child feels about himself or herself how the child sees himself or
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