What is Child Abuse?
It is any sexual act or sexual conduct with a child performed by an adult or older child. It includes showing an adult’s genitalia to a child, showing pornographic pictures or videos to a child or using the child as a model for pornography. The child may be traumatized emotionally or physically.
If this crime should happen to you or a loved one, remember these things:
- Listen and take seriously what the child is telling you.
- Tell the child, “It’s not your fault.”
- Call the Rape Program – We Care!
- Remain calm. Comfort and reassure the child.
- Call the police.
The Family Advocate is a vital member of the multi-disciplinary team that investigates the alleged sexual assault of a child. The Advocate will educate and support the family involved in the criminal justice process. The Advocate can be at the Child Advocacy Center to offer information about the victim’s rights to the non-offending family members of children being evaluated for sexual abuse.
What Happens After a Possible Sexual Abuse is Reported?
The Medical Examination
- This exam will assess for injury, test for sexually transmitted infections, and appraise the risk of pregnancy for females.
- A pediatrician or nurse practitioner specially trained to evaluate signs of sexual abuse will perform the examination.
- A Colposcope may be used to take pictures to assist in possible prosecution.
- Cultures may be taken to evaluate the risk of infection.
- Blood and urine samples may be used to assess for pregnancy and infection.
- Follow-up medical care may be requested.
The Legal Process
- The local Children Services Board will investigate.
- Police in the community where the alleged incident occurred may assist in the investigation.
- A report from the medical exam and the investigation is sent to the prosecutor of the county in which the crime occurred.
- The prosecutor decides about possible prosecution of the alleged perpetrator.
Know the Facts
Rape is a violent crime in which a person is forced to engage in sexual acts against her or his will. It is not motivated by sexual desire. It is an act of anger, hostility, and the need to have control over another’s physical and emotional safety.
- 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 12
- 29% are ages 12 to 17
- 44% are under age 18
- 80% are under age 30
- 12–34 are the highest risk years
- Girls ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault
- 7% of girls in grades 5–8 and 12% of girls in grades 9–12 said they had been sexually abused
- 3% of boys in grades 5–8 and 5% of boys in grades 9–12 said they had been sexually abused
- 93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker
- 34.2% of attackers were family members
- 58.7% were acquaintances
- Only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victim
*Statistics courtesy of RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network)
How Can You Help?
If you or someone you care about has been sexually assaulted, reaching out for help can be the first step toward healing. The Rape Crisis & Counseling Center offers free, confidential services to survivors of any age, as well as their friends and families. We help survivors from all backgrounds, and we are knowledgeable about all types of sexual violence. A survivor will be welcomed and treated with respect. Whether the assault took place yesterday or many years ago, The Rape Crisis & Counseling Center is here to help now:
- Give the 24-hour crisis hotline phone number to a survivor who needs it: (330) 782-3936.
- Donate clothing, specifically new undergarments, socks, sweatsuits, sweatshirts, and T-shirts.
- Donate quality tissues to help dry tears.
- Help promote community awareness about rape. Speakers are available for your church, club or agency. Contact Lynn Bilal, Program Director, at (330) 782-5664.
- Help support the Program with a tax-deductible contribution.
The Rape Crisis & Counseling Center is a member of The Ohio Domestic Violence Network and the Alliance Against Sexual Violence – Northern Region, and is funded by:
- The Ohio Department of Health and the Federal Government (VAWA)
- Office of Healthy Ohio
- Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
- Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prevention Program
Contact The Rape Crisis & Counseling Center
535 Marmion Avenue – Youngstown, Ohio 44502
Our 24-hour Hotline: (330) 782-3936