Children are by nature vulnerable to those more powerful than they are.

Sexual abuse does not occur because of a particular quality in the child, but solely because of traits or decisions made on the part of the person abusing. Yet, if we can understand why some children may be more likely to be vulnerable to sexual abuse we can take steps early on to provide extra protection for those children. Although the child is never the reason for the abuse, there are factors that lower a child’s defenses against abuse and make them less able to protect themselves or get the help they could need.

Risk factors

The factors below can increase risk for abuse and are not necessarily considered to be causes of child sexual abuse; sexual abuse can occur without any of these factors present. These traits are not predictors or indicators of sexual abuse, but rather aspects of a child’s life that can make them more vulnerable. When several of the factors below are true, a child may be less able to see a sexual violation as unacceptable, less able to find the resources to get protection, or perhaps even more willing to tolerate the sexual interaction in exchange for whatever it is they might be offered – protection, love, privileges, treats, friendship or money,

Risk factors in a child’s environment or household 

Risk factors in a child’s relationships



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Title:Understanding Your Childs Sexual Behavior: Whats Natural and Healthy
Toni Cavanagh Johnson
Related Files:
Title:All Books Available from Safer Society Foundation Press
Abstract:Free catalog of publications specializing in sexual abuse prevention and treatment, including recovery for victims, those who have abused and family members
The Safer Society Foundation Press
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Title:Whats Happening in Our Family: Understanding Sexual Abuse Through Metaphors
Ostis, Constance M.
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