Child sexual abuse is one of the most vicious and reprehensible crimes regardless of where you are in the world. It can refer to a range of sex crimes involving children such as sexual assault, forced physical contact, statutory rape, sexual abuse, and public lewdness.
Under the California Penal Code, a person will have committed a sex crime if they engage in a sex act with another person without their consent. A child, defined as a person under the age of 18, does not have the legal ability to consent to sex. Thus, if a person engages in a sex act with a child, even if the child appears to have given consent, they will have committed child sexual abuse.
Many victims of child sexual abuse feel scared or embarrassed about reporting the crime. They may feel guilty, ashamed, and may even blame themselves for the abuse. Others report the abuse, but they aren’t always taken seriously by their adult caretakers – under the guise of them not able to understand what they have experienced. In either case, sexual abuse of any nature can have a devastating impact on a child’s physical and mental health and well-being.