One challenge in stopping child sexual abuse is that it is often perpetrated in secrecy—a secrecy that the majority of child victims maintains.
There is overwhelming evidence that most child victims delay or never disclose child sexual abuse to friends, family members, or the authorities.1
A large adult retrospective study determined that 21.2 percent of survivors disclosed their abuse promptly; 21.3 percent disclosed abuse from one month to five years after it occurred; and the majority, 57.5 percent, delayed disclosure for more than five years.1 Many of us may scratch our heads and wonder, “Why in the world would a child not tell someone or take steps to get help?”
As outlined in the video below, there are 10 primary reasons children don’t disclose abuse. Our challenge as caring adults is to recognize the possible signs of sexual abuse, understand and appreciate the very real reasons children keep abuse to themselves, and learn how to appropriately intervene when abuse is suspected.
To learn the 10 primary reasons, click here.
To learn what to do if you suspect a child is a victim of sexual abuse, click here.