FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Sexual Abuse *

Child sexual abuse is any sexual contact between a child and an adult or an older child.  This includes touching of private parts, sex acts and pornography.  In Maryland, if the abuse is committed by someone not providing direct care for the child, it is called child sexual assault.

As defined by Maryland State Family Law 5-701, Child Sexual Abuse:

  • Means any act that involves sexual molestation or exploitation of a child by a parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care, custody, or responsibility for supervision of a child, or by any household or family member.

Includes incest, rape, sexual offense in any degree, sodomy, unnatural or perverted practices.

A child forensic interview is a process where a child is given the opportunity to make a statement about what happened in a safe, supportive environment. The child is questioned in a legally-sound, developmentally appropriate manner by a trained professional. Members of the multidisciplinary team that have jurisdiction over the case observe the interview as it is taking place. Interviews are recorded, reducing the number of times children need to be interviewed, therefore reducing trauma to the child. The recorded interview is submitted in court, increasing the prosecution of the child abuse offender up to 70%.

Information gathered in the forensic interview is used to help make decisions about protection, prosecution and treatment. Conducting forensic interviews with child crime victims in a child advocacy center is considered the best practice.

Nationally, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the time they’re 18. Only about 10% of child sexual abuse is ever reported.
Half of child sexual abuse victims are younger than nine. At the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, 38% of children seen are boys. Nearly 40% are younger than seven; 76% are younger than 12.
Ninety percent of abusers are someone the child or family knows. Almost half of child sexual abuse is committed by teenage boys or young adults aged 14 to 30.
For a detailed answer, please read Prevention Tips. Here are some key things you can do:

  • Learn the possible signs.
  • Be wary of situations in which children may be alone with an adult or much older child.
  • Teach children to tell you if they aren’t comfortable with someone.
  • Talk with them about who they should tell and where they should go if something bad happens.
For a detailed answer, please read Possible Signs. They include:

  • Extreme clinginess
  • Fear of certain people or places
  • Incorporating sexual subject matter into drawing, writing or play
  • Alluding to a secret between him/herself and an adult or older child
For a detailed answer, please read Possible Signs. They include:

  • Insistence on touching or showing child affection even when the child resists
  • High levels of interest in the sexuality of a particular child or teen
  • Requesting uninterrupted time alone with a child
  • Spending significant time with children or much younger teens, along with having little interest in peers or those who are older

For a detailed answer, please read Possible Signs. They include:

  • Insistence on touching or showing child affection even when the child resists
  • High levels of interest in the sexuality of a particular child or teen
  • Requesting uninterrupted time alone with a child
  • Spending significant time with children or much younger teens, along with having little interest in peers or those who are older
Listen to the child

  • Try to be calm.Don’t let children see how upset you may be.
  • Even if you’re not absolutely sure there has been abuse, call for help right away
Call (410) 641-0097 during business hours

After Hours and Holidays call  (410) 632-1111 OR 911

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