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The American Medical Association states child sexual abuse is one of the most serious and rapidly growing violent crimes in America qtd in Beck 32 Some people dont know what sexual abuse is or what its effects are Although sexual abuse may not leave physical damage the psychological damage is unbelievable Sexual abuse is most commonly noted in girls but boys make up 20 of the reported cases Garnefski 323 Sexual abuse affects boys just as it does girls but boys are more likely to have more serious aggressive behaviors and suicidal thought or attempts Childhood sexual abuse has been proven to affect the victims well into adulthood First I want to explain how sexual abuse is defined The Journal of American Medical Association defines sexual abuse of children as any sexual act or sexual contact with a child performed by an adult or an older child Hwang 1888 There are indirect forms of sexual abuse as well they include showing a child an adults genitalia showing a child pornographic pictures or videotapes and using a child as a model for pornography Hwang 1888 Another definition of sexual abuse is being touched or fondled against ones will McLeer 1329 Having someone attempt intercourse whether it is oral vaginal or anal is also considered to be sexual abuse Lang 3 What most people do not realize is that the abuser is usually but not always someone that the child was close to and trusts and respects The Federal Child Abuse Treatment Act of 1974 states sexual abuse includes rape molestation and prostitution under circumstances in which the childs health andor welfare is harmed andor threatened qtd in Siegel 69 Andrew Vachss wrote a chapter titled Child Sexual Abuse is a Widespread Problem he explains how the media has played a big part in the presence of sexual abuse In this chapter he explains how older people might say the media discovered child abuse 15
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