Information on sexual abuse

Sexual abuse can be both prevented and treated when people work together. Everyone can play a role, and the information here can provide you with a starting point. Whether you’re a parent looking for information about keeping your children safe, a survivor looking for help with healing, a friend or family member wanting to offer support to a survivor, or need information about sexual offender treatment, you can find information here. You can access the information by topic – prevention strategies or recovering from sexual abuse, for example, or by affinity group – family and friends of survivors or parents of children with sexual behavior problems for example. You can access any topic or group by clicking on the links below. Following the topic and group links, you can find answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, and links to further information relating to each question.

We have chosen not to use the terms “sexual offender” or “sexual abuser” to describe people with sexual behavior problems. We believe that people are more than any single behavior and that people have the ability to change. Labeling people, especially with words carrying such powerful, negative connotations, can be harmful. Therefore, we chose to describe people as having a sexual behavior problem. Doing so does not excuse people with sexual behavior problems from being accountable for their actions or from addressing their behavior and making changes. Instead, we hope it offers an opportunity for them to begin the journey.


  • Prevention Strategies
  • Indicators of Abuse
  • Recovering from Sexual Abuse
  • Supporting Survivors
  • Persons with Sexual Behavior Problems in the Community
  • Risk Assessment
  • Treatment for Persons with Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Supporting Persons with Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Family Reunification of Juveniles with Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Family Reunification of Adults with Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Registration and Community Notification
  • Public Policy

Affinity Groups:

  • Survivors
  • Family and Friends of Survivors
  • Parents of Child Sexual Abuse Survivors
  • Persons with Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Families and Friends of Persons with Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Parents of Children with Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Parents of Teens with Sexual Behavior Problems
  • Policy Makers

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is child sexual abuse?
Any sexual activity with a child by an adult or adolescent is child sexual abuse. Both sexual touching (e.g. touching the penis or vagina, oral sex, or intercourse) and sexual behaviors that don’t involve touching (peeping, flashing, or showing pornography to a child) are child sexual abuse. Natural and healthy sexual exploration during childhood between children of similar age, size, and developmental level who engage in such activities voluntarily is not child sexual abuse.

Question: What can I do to keep my child from being sexually abused?
The most important step in keeping children safe is to be knowledgable about how sexual abuse occurs, and who sexually offends. Teaching children the proper names for their body parts, creating a home where the privacy of every fmily member is respected, allowing children to express affection in their own way, teaching them the difference between surprises and secrets, and using parental controls on computers are all good ways to protect children. Maintaining good communication between adults and children is very important. SeeĀ Prevention StrategiesĀ for more details on these tips and for additional suggestions.