Many children are not sexually abused by adults; rather, they are abused by other children—typically older children. When an older child uses force, bribery, tricks, gifts, and manipulation to get a younger child involved in some sort of sexual activity, it is considered serious sexual assault.
Sexual abuse in Florida is not just penetration; it can happen without intercourse by an older kid to a younger child in many different ways including:
- Unwanted touching – Fondling breasts and touching private parts or requiring the child to touch the abuser in his or her private areas.
- Sodomy – Forcing a child to engage in oral or anal sex.
- Nude photos – Taking nude photos of the child or showing the child inappropriate photos or pornography.
Sadly, research indicates that one in three girls and one in five boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. While most people think that child sexual abuse involves an adult perpetrator, about one-third of the abuse is a result of child-on-child abuse. When children become child sexual abuse victims before the age of six, it can cause them lasting emotional damage.
What You Need to Know About Child-on-Child Sexual Abuse
More often than not, child-on-child sexual abuse involves an adolescent kid sexually harming a younger pubescent child. Even children as young as four may unknowingly engage in sexual behavior with an older child because they don’t know what’s happening, and they are being coerced into it. The younger child being harmed is often confused about what is happening or does not fully understand that the sexual behavior is harmful. Sometimes the younger child feels like he or she is to blame for being a part of the situation. Although the child isn’t to blame, he or she may not disclose the abuse to anyone due to a feeling of guilt or shame. Also, the abuser often threatens the child not to tell, so the younger child is fearful for what will happen if he or she tells.
Why Do Children Abuse Other Children?
There are many reasons why some children abuse other kids; however, one of the most common reasons is that they have been victims of sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. Also, they may have seen sexual or physical violence at home or been exposed to pornography or explicit movies at a very young age—causing confusion. Whatever the reason, the abuse will continue unless the child is stopped.
It is important that once young children disclose that they have been victimized that their parents speak with an experienced Sarasota child abuse attorney for help understanding your family’s rights and what to do next. Mallard Perez can help you and can be reached at 888-409-3805. We will provide you with a confidential, complimentary consultation in addition to a free copy of our book: When the Unthinkable Happens: Your Guide to Florida Child Abuse Claims to help you during this difficult and very emotional time.