Walk Together to End Child Sexual Abuse.

Thank you for walking with us virtually on November 18, 2021 in honor of the movement to expand the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation into a global day observed around the world.

map of the U.S. showing where pledges to walk have been made

Together, we are making a difference.

Thanks to the support of advocates across the country, we collectively took an astounding 1,122,000 steps in honor of the Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse. Thank you for joining us as we work together to create a safer future for all children in the United States! Be sure to mark your calendar for November 18 next year to join us once again.

There are no reliable estimates of the percentages of children and adolescents in the U.S. that experience some form of sexual violence. Only 12% of child sexual abuse is reported to authorities each year.

Studies have shown that underreporting of minor sexual abuse can be attributed in large part to the fact that the majority of child victims do not reveal their abuse until later in life, if at all. (Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center)

According to the CDC, child sexual abuse is a significant but preventable public health problem. Many children wait to report or never report child sexual abuse. Although estimates vary across studies, the data shows:

  • 91% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child or child’s family knows.
  • The total lifetime economic burden of child sexual abuse in the United States in 2015 was estimated to be at least $9.3 billion. Although this is likely an underestimate of the true impact of the problem since child sexual abuse is underreported.

Experiencing child sexual abuse is an adverse childhood experience (ACE) that can affect how a person thinks, acts, and feels over a lifetime, resulting in short- and long-term physical, mental, and emotional health consequences, including:

  • sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • physical injuries
  • chronic conditions later in life, such as heart disease, obesity, and cancer
  • depression
  • posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms
  • substance use/misuse including opioid misuse
  • increased risk for suicide or suicide attempts

Another outcome commonly associated with child sexual abuse is an increased risk of re-victimization throughout a person’s life. For example, recent studies have found:

  • Females exposed to child sexual abuse are at 2-13 times increased risk of sexual victimization in adulthood
  • Individuals who experienced child sexual abuse are at twice the risk for non-sexual intimate partner violence

Embracing the stories of survivors is a key component to ending child sexual abuse and dismantling the shame and silence that surround the experience. Join us in lifting up survivor voices by reading, listening, or sharing your own story.


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