Child sexual abuse is defined as sexual activity with a child by an adult, adolescent or older child. If any adult engages in sexual activity with a child, that is sexual abuse. If another child or adolescent engages in sexual activity with a child, a grey area enters where some sexual behavior is innocent exploration rather than abuse.
There are two main types of child sexual abuse: touching and non-touching. Touching includes touching a child’s genitals, making a child touch someone else’s genitals, playing sexual games, and/or putting objects or body parts inside the vulva or vagina, in the mouth, or in the anus of a child for sexual pleasure. Non-touching abuse includes showing pornography to a child, exposing a person’s genitals to a child, prostituting/trafficking a child, photographing a child in sexual poses, encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts either in person or on a video, and/or watching a child undress or use the bathroom.
In 2013, the NC Alliance of YMCAs adopted Darkness to Light as a statewide initiative to educate and engage communities in the prevention of child sexual abuse. To learn more about this community-based program that educates adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize, and respond when they suspect a child may be a victim of child sexual abuse.
Learn more about Darkness to Light.
Visit the NC Alliance of YMCA's website for a list of YMCA's in NC communities that are participating in this important work.