Introduction

Sexual abuse of children is a crime.

It causes serious harm to children and their families. The effects can last a lifetime.

These pages are for parents and carers.

There are things you can do to keep your child safe. It is important for your child to know when something is wrong and how to tell others about it.

Child sexual abuse defined

Child sexual abuse involves an abuse of the unequal power relationship between a child and another person and is a betrayal of the child's trust.

For example when an adult, a bigger child or an older child involves a child in any sexual activity or sexual threat. 

These acts can include:

  • sexual touching
  • penetration
  • oral sex acts
  • involvement with pornography
  • taking sexualised photos of a child
  • sexually explicit talk
  • indecent exposure
  • involving a child in prostitution
  • female genital mutilation
  • threats or bribes to keep a child silent.

Child sexual abuse can happen in families and communities of any income, culture or religion.

While abuse by strangers does happen, most sexual abuse is committed by someone a child knows and trusts.

Children may be scared they will get into trouble if they tell, or that it might cause a lot of problems.

Children often feel no one will believe them or that they are to blame.

Mandatory reporting

Child sexual abuse can be prevented or stopped.

In the Northern Territory (NT) the Care and Protection of Children Act states that it is mandatory for any person to make a report if they suspect child abuse.

That means if you suspect a child has been abused you must report it.

For more information contact the:

NT Child Abuse Hotline
Phone: 1800 700 250 

Sexual Assault Referral Centre
Phone: (08) 8922 6472

NT Police
Phone: 000 in an emergency
Phone: 131 444 for police attendance

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Last updated: 27 June 2017