Question - Are the participants old enough to consent?
Answer - Each state sets an "age of consent," which is the minimum age someone must be to have sex. People below this age are considered children and cannot legally agree to have sex. In other words, even if the child or teenager says yes, the law says no.
Question - Do both people have the capacity to consent?
Answer - States also define who has the mental and legal capacity to consent. Those with diminished capacity - for example, some people with disabilities, some elderly people and people who have been drugged or are unconscious - may not have the legal ability to agree to have sex.
Question - Did both participants agree to take part?
Answer - Did someone use physical force to make you have sexual contact with him/her? Has someone threatened you to make you have intercourse with them? If so, it is rape.
Source: RAINN, Was I Raped?, www.rainn.org
Question - What are the child abuse statistics?
- 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
- 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.
- Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur at age 17 and under.
- An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.
Question - Even within their own homes, are children at risk for sexual abuse?
- 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.
- 50% are abused by someone outside the family whom they know & trust.
- About 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know.
- 90% of children are abused by someone known to them, usually someone they know and trust.
Question - Does sexual abuse occur at all ages?
Answer - probably younger than you think:
- The median age for reported abuse is 9 years old.
- More than 20% of children are sexually abused before age 8.
- Nearly 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under 12.
Question - Are most perpetrators repeat offenders if they are not reported & stopped?
Answer - Yes:
- Nearly 70% of sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victims; at least 20% have 10 to 40 victims.
- An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his or her lifetime.
Source: Darkness to Light, Statistics Surrounding Child Sexual Abuse, www.D2L.org