Definition of Child Sexual Abuse

  • Unwanted sexual contact with genitals, fingers, or objects, which may include touching, fondling, or grabbing private parts, perpetrated against a child.
  • Including when the victim is forced, coerced, or manipulated to participate in unwanted sexual activity.
  • Including when the victim is unable to give consent due to age, mental, or physical incapacity, which includes being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, being asleep, or being extremely frightened.


Imagine a childhood disease that affects one in five girls and one in seven boys before they reach 18; a disease that can cause dramatic mood swings, erratic behavior, and even severe conduct disorders among those exposed; a disease that breeds distrust of adults and undermines the possibility of experiencing normal sexual relationships; a disease that can have profound implications for an individual’s future healthy by increasing the risk of problems such as substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and suicidal behavior; a disease that replicates itself by causing some of its victims to expose future generations to its debilitating effects. Imagine what we, as a society, would do if such a disease existed.  Such a disease does exist—it’s called child sexual abuse.  --James Mercy

Child Sexual Abuse Statisticsstop-sexual-abuse-hand-SS

  • Only 12 percent of child sexual abuse is ever reported.
  • 500,000 children are sexually abused every year.
  • 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually on the internet.
  • Nearly 70% of all reported sexual abuse assaults occur to children ages 17 and under.
  • An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in American today.
You are not alone. 

In the United States...
  • More than 3.4 million reports of child maltreatment (involving 3.8 million children) were received and of those, nearly 2.1 million had an investigation or assessment.
  • Approximately 686,000 children were confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect. Of the children:
    • 50.9% were girls, 48.7% were boys, 0.3% not reported
    • 44.0% were White, 21% were African-American, 21.8% were Hispanic, 6.9% were unknown, 4.1% were multiple race, 1.2% were American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.8% were Asian, and 0.2% were Pacific Islander
    • 26.8% of victims were under the age of 3; 20% of victims were between the ages of 3-5; 21.3% between 6-9, 17.4% between 10-13 and 14.1% between 14-17
    • 78.3% were affected by neglect, 18.3% experienced physical abuse, and 9.3% experienced sexual abuse.
    • 1,640 children died at the hand of their abusers. More than 70% of the children killed were under three years of age.
  • Approximately 80% of all child abuse is perpetrated by parents.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services FFY2012 Child Maltreatment Report...
In Colorado:

  • More than 48,000 reports of child abuse and neglect were received and of those, nearly 41,000 cases reported were investigated for child abuse and neglect.
  • 10,482 children were confirmed cases of abuse or neglect in Colorado. Of that, 5,660 were first-time victims.
  • 40 died from child abuse or neglect.
In the San Luis Valley:
Reports of Child Abuse by County
 Alamosa County   388 Reports  255 (66%) Accepted for Investigation
 Conejos County  78 Reports  30 (38%) Accepted for Investigation
 Costilla County  61 Reports  41 (67%) Accepted for Investigation
 Rio Grande/Mineral Counties  183 Reports  83 (46%) Accepted for Investigation
* Data taken from CDHS Division of Child Welfare 2012 Data Book