If you are involved in the lives of adolescents, you can learn to recognize warning signs that a teen has been sexually assaulted or abused. Some of the warning signs that a teen has been sexually assaulted or abused can easily blend in with the everyday struggles teens face as they learn how to relate to their bodies, peers, and environments. Remind the teen that if they come to you, you will believe them—and that if something happened, it is not their fault. It can be challenging for teens, who are new to dating, to recognize that sexual assault and abuse may be part of an abusive relationship. As someone outside of the relationship, you have the potential to notice warning signs that someone may be in abusive relationship or at risk for sexual assault. Teens may also experience sexual harassment or other unwanted behaviors through technology and online interactions. Some people use technology—such as digital photos, videos, apps, and social media—to engage in harassing, unsolicited, or non-consensual sexual interactions.
Eight out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone who knows the victim.
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This booklet is written for teenage girls who have been sexually abused. You are not alone. One in four girls and one in six boys has been sexually abused by the time they are eighteen. One way of looking at these numbers is to imagine a classroom of twenty teenagers. Four or five girls and three or four boys in that class will have been sexually abused by the time they leave high school. You may have been sexually abused by someone in your family, by someone you know or by a stranger. You may have been sexually abused by more than one person.
Knowing the signs is incredibly important as children are often ashamed and find it difficult to talk about abuse — and because getting professional help immediately is a top priority. There are many signs that a child may be the victim of childhood sexual abuse, and it depends on the age of that child. For toddlers and older children, unexplained bruises are again a sign. For adolescents, look out for unexplained gifts, money, interactions online.
The term teen sexual abuse has many meanings but always refers to any unwanted sexual contact of a teen by another person. Sexual abuse can happen to any teen regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The abuser can be male or female. Different terms used to describe unwanted sexual contact of teens include. Sexual abuse: The abuser is a parent, stepparent, sibling, or other relative. The abuse usually happens multiple times. It is often difficult for the teen to disclose the abuse because it involves a family member. It is very common for teens to be sexually abused, and most will not tell anyone about the abuse.