J Korean Med Assoc.  2002 Nov;45(11):1312-1330. 10.5124/jkma.2002.45.11.1312.

Sexual Abuse of Children


Child abuse and neglect refers to any act or failure to act that violates the rights of children and affects their overall optimal health, survival or development. Also sexual abuse in children is defined as engaging a child in sexual acts that the child does not understand, to which the child cannot give informed consent, or which violate the taboos of our society. Sexual abuse may involve direct acts perpetrated against children as well as other non-touching abuses, which include exhibitionism, voyeurism, or the use of children for pornographic purposes. Although precise incidence and prevalence rate data are lacking, sexual abuse of children is common in our country and throughout the world. Child sexual abuse is a universal problem that has frequently passed unrecognized and its victims (both children and perpetrators) untreated. Child sexual abuse results in significant social damage. The physical and psychological consequences of child sexual abuse may result in trauma and has implications throughout the lifespan. Experiencing sexual abuse as a child also has the consequence of contributing to an increased risk of violent victimization, perpetration, self-directed violence and suicide later in life. Despite the importance of the issues, information about sexual abuse in children and amongst adults has not been commonly shared by health professionals. The purpose of this review article is to assist the physician in their investigation of child sexual abuse by exploring the important topics.


Sexual abuse of children; Sexual assault
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