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800.252.5400 - Calls Answered 24/7

If you or someone you know is being molested, or you suspect abuse, contact the appropriate authorities. 

If you were abused as a child and suspect that your abuser is still harming others, please report it. 

Children should never be left in abusive situations. Children cannot be held responsible for crimes perpetrated against them. 

What is Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)?

Child sexual abuse is an umbrella term that covers a variety of inappropriate actions with children for the sexual and/or emotional gratification of an older child or adult.  

What is Sexual Abuse? 

Any physical, visual or verbal interaction with a minor by an older child or adult whose purpose is sexual stimulation of sexual satisfaction. This may be a single experience or many experiences of sexual violence. The behavior is physically and emotionally harmful because the child is being exploited and taken advantage of. 

Every adult in the State of Texas is required to make a report when child abuse is suspected. You do not have to investigate or be certain that abuse has occurred - you only have to suspect.

Who Is the Victim of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)? 

A child victim of sexual abuse is any boy or girl under the legal "age of consent" who has suffered a single experience or many experiences of sexual abuse. 

Age of consent is a legal term for the age a person must reach to give consent to sex. 



Every adult is required by law to report if they suspect child abuse or neglect. 

It's not just doctors and social workers and teachers. We're all responsible. 

  • Call 911 or the Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.252.5400 (Call our Abuse Hotline toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, nationwide, or report with our secure website and get a response within 24 hours)
  • Report online at Texas Department of Family and Protective Services - LEARN MORE 
  • Visit Dallas Children's Advocacy Center for more information about child abuse awareness, prevention and recovery and reporting.   


Any form of sexual activity with a child *(under 17) by an adult or by another older child, which the child is developmentally unprepared and cannot give informed consent.

A child can never provide genuine consent to engage in sexual activity with anyone. Children are not psychologically or emotionally developed to comprehend the consequences associated with sexual activity. Adults are 100% responsible for their behavior when a child is in their presence.

*In Texas, the legal age to consent to sexual activity.

A Perpetrator Can Be Anyone: Who Commit Sex Crimes Against Kids?

  • 60% family members, parents, stepparents, uncles, grandfathers, cousins, etc 
  • 30% family friends, neighbors, teachers, clergy, etc
  • 10% strangers 

Most child sexual abusers are men and may be respected members of the community drawn to settings where they gain easy access to children like schools, clubs and churches. They come from all age groups, races, religions and socioeconomic classes. Most victims know, love and trust their abusers. 

Sex offenders (male and female) can come from any place within the family and from any place within society.


Many believe in order for sexual abuse to have occurred penetration must happen. However, this is a myth. Sexual abuse can be classified into three categories.


  • exposing a child to pornography
  • exposing of genitals
  • lustful peering looks at a child
  • force, manipulation or coercion of a child to observe
  • sexual acts of another


  • graphic sexual descriptions of a sexual nature about a child’s developing body
  • calling a child by a derogatory name (i.e., slut, whore, bitch, etc)
  • exposing a child to sexual jokes, teasing or graphic sexual descriptions
  • communicating in a sexual manner over the phone or Internet


  • touching a child’s genitals or having them to touch the genitals of another
  • sexual intercourse (penetration of vagina with penis or other objects)
  • kissing a child in a sexual nature (i.e., french kissing)
  • performing oral sex on a child or forcing a child to perform oral sex on another
  • forcing a child to engage in group sex or sex rings with adults or other children

All forms of sexual abuse is damaging and impacts every area of life: physically, emotionally, psychologically, relationally and spiritually.

NOTE: When sexual abuse occurs in childhood, the negative effects will not just go away or stop when the abuse does. The effects will flow over into adulthood and if not dealt with appropriately the destructive and negative patterns will continue in the life of the survivor.


MYTH: Children lie about being abused, often for attention. 

FACT: Children don't lie about being sexually abused. They are made to lie in order to keep it a secret. 

MYTH:  Children are sexually abused by strangers of an unknown adult. 

FACT: Perpetrators are not waiting on the street to snatch kids; only 10% of sexually abused children are abused by a stranger. The other 90% of survivors are abused by someone they (or their family) know and trust. Perpetrators integrate themselves into everyone’s life, not just the child’s. They build relationships with the caregivers, family and friends so that they are trusted to be alone with the child. Gaining access this way gives them many more opportunities to perpetrate. This is a process called grooming. 

MYTH: Child sexual abuse happens mostly to girls. 

FACT: While it’s true that females are up to five times more likely to be abused than males, boys are still at risk. Boys are much less likely to come forward with allegations of abuse due to stigma and shame, so reporting rates are much lower for this demographic. This artificially adjusts the numbers to seem like boys are abused less than girls.

MYTH: Children are only at risk of sexual abuse from men who are pedophiles.  

FACT: Not everyone who sexually abuses children is a pedophile, or a man. Women and peer youth can also offend. Pedophilic offenders often start offending at an early age and often have many victims (frequently non-family members). However, child sexual abuse is perpetrated by a wide range of individuals with diverse motivations.

Sexual abuse is often a crime of opportunity. It is possible for someone to be a “situational offender,” someone who offends once or twice at times of stress and begin offending later than pedophilic offenders. They also have fewer victims (often family) and have a general preference for adult partners.

As many as 40% of children who are sexually abused are abused by older, or more powerful children. Most adolescent sex offenders are not sexual predators and will not go on to become adult offenders.

MYTH: 16 year olds can consent to have sex with an adult. 

FACT: TV shows and social media often sexualize teenagers and romanticize situations that in the “real world” would be considered sexual abuse and assault. Abuse always involves a power dynamic, in which one more powerful person (often an older person) exerts themselves over the less powerful (or younger). This is why teenagers under the age of 18, as minors, cannot consent to sex with adults. Make it a point to have conversations with the teenagers in your life about consent (freedom to choose), body boundaries, and safety.

NOTE: A child/adolescent under the age of "legal consent" can never provide genuine consent to sex acts. Because of differences in maturity and power, adults are always responsible for their conduct with children. Children can not be held responsible.

Age of consent (varies from state to state) a legal term for the age a person must reach to give consent to sex. If an adult engages in any type of sexual activity with someone below the age of consent in that state, they're committing a crime even if the minor said they agreed to have sex.

Texas - the age of consent is 17, which means if an adult engages in any form of sexual activity with a child under 17, it is considered statutory rape, even if the younger individual agreed to the sexual activity or lied about their age.   

A child (minor) is considered unable to consent by the Law due to:

1) developmental immaturity (mental and emotional)

2) an inability to understand sexual behavior 


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