Disclosure Among Victims
- Not all sexually abused children exhibit symptoms—some estimate that up to 40% of sexually abused children are asymptomatic; however, others experience serious and long-standing consequences. 
- A common presumption is that children will give one detailed, clear account of abuse. This is not consistent with research; disclosures often unfold gradually and may be presented in a series of hints. Children might imply something has happened to them without directly stating they were sexually abused—they may be testing the reaction to their “hint.” 
- If they are ready, children may then follow with a larger hint if they think it will be handled well. 
- It is easy to miss hints of disclosure of abuse. As a result, a child may not receive the help needed. 
- Disclosure of sexual abuse is often delayed; children often avoid telling because they are either afraid of a negative reaction from their parents or of being harmed by the abuser. As such, they often delay disclosure until adulthood. 
- Males tend not to report their victimization, which may affect statistics. Some men even feel societal pressure to be proud of early sexual activity, regardless of whether it was unwanted. 
- Studies of adults suggest that factors such as the relationship to the perpetrator, age at first incident of abuse, use of physical force, severity of abuse, and demographic variables, such as gender and ethnicity, impact a child’s willingness to disclose abuse. 
- When children do disclose: 
- It is frequently to a friend or a sibling.
- Of all other family members, mothers are most likely to be told. Whether or not a mother might be told will depend on the child’s expected response from the mother.
- Few disclose abuse to authorities or professionals.
- Of all professionals, teachers are the most likely to be told.
- Historically, professionals promoted the idea that children frequently report false accounts of abuse. Current research, however, lacks systematic evidence that false allegations are common. Recantations of abuse are also uncommon. 
- “Child Sexual Abuse: What Parents Should Know,” American Psychological Association. (http://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/child-sexual-abuse.aspx) (February 19, 2014)
- Douglas, E., and D. Finkelhor, Childhood Sexual Abuse Fact Sheet, Crimes Against Children Research Center, May 2005. (http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/factsheet/pdf/childhoodSexual AbuseFactSheet.pdf) (December 21, 2011)
- Finkelhor, D., “The Prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse,” Future of Children, 2009, 19(2):169–94.
- Kilpatrick, D., R. Acierno, B. Saunders, H. Resnick, C. Best, and P. Schnurr, “National Survey of Adolescents,” Charleston, SC: Medical University of South Carolina, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, 1998.
- “Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics,” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000.
- “National Crime Victimization Survey,” U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1996.
- Silverman, J. G., A. Raj, L. A. Mucci, and J. E. Hathaway, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001, Vol. 286 (No. 5).
- Wolak, J., K. Mitchell, and D. Finkelhor, “Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later,” National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 2006. (http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC167.pdf) (December 21, 2011)
- “Child Maltreatment 2012,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau.
- Wolak, Janis, David Finkelhor, Kimberly J. Mitchell, and Michele L. Ybarra, “Online ‘Predators’ and Their Victims: Myths, Realities, and Implications for Prevention and Treatment.” American Psychologist, 2008, 63:111–128. (http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/Am%20Psy%202-08.pdf) (December 21, 2011)
- Lenhart, Amanda, “Teens and Sexting.” Pew Internet & American Life Project, December 15, 2009. (http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/Teens-and-Sexting.aspx) (December 21, 2011)
- Kilpatrick, Dean G., Ph.D., Heidi S. Resnick, Ph.D., Kenneth J. Ruggiero, Ph.D., Lauren M. Conoscenti, M.A., and Jenna McCauley, M.S., “Drug-Facilitated, Incapacitated, and Forcible Rape: A National Study,” July 2007. (https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/219181.pdf) (December 21, 2011)
- Truman, Jennifer l., Ph.D., BJS Statistician, “National Crime Victimization Survey 2010,” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, September 2011. (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv10.pdf) (December 21, 2011)
- Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc., “Child Sexual Abuse–It Is Your Business.” p.10. (https://www.cybertip.ca/pdfs/C3P_ChildSexualAbuse_ItIsYourBusiness_en.pdf) (November 1, 2012)
- The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, “Sex and Tech–Results From a Survey of Teens and Young Adults.” (http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/CV71.pdf) November 11, 2010
- Truman, J., L. Langton, and M. Planty, “Criminal Victimization 2012,” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, October 2013. (http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv12.pdf) (February 19, 2014)
- “NISVS: An Overview of 2010 Summary Report Findings,” Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention. (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/cdc_nisvs_overview_insert_final-a.pdf) (February 19, 2014)
- Finkelhor, D., and L. Jones, “Have Sexual Abuse and Physical Abuse Declined Since the 1990s?” Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire. (November 1, 2012)
- Tompson, T., J. Benz, and J. Agiesta, “The Digital Abuse Study: Experiences of Teens and Young Adults,” AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, October 2013. (http://www.apnorc.org/PDFs/Digital%20Abuse/AP-NORC%20Center%20and%20MTV_Digital%20Abuse%20Study_FINAL.pdf) (February 19, 2014)
- Allnock, D., “Children and Young People Disclosing Sexual Abuse: An Introduction to the Research,” Child Protection Research Department NSPCC Fresh Start. April 2010. (http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/briefings/children_disclosing_sexual_abuse_pdf_wdf75964.pdf) (June 16, 2014)
- Banks, D., and T. Kyckelhahn, “Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents, 2008–2010,” Characteristics of Suspected Human Trafficking Incidents Series, Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 2011. (http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2372) (June 16, 2014)
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