Child Abuse and Incest
Being abused is one of the most traumatic things that can happen to a child. Telling someone about the abuse, especially when it has been committed by a family member or someone the child trusts, can also be a frightening, difficult experience. Children need different support and services than adults. If you suspect that a child you know is a victim of child abuse, call the San Francisco Child Protective Services Office to report the abuse at 415-558-2650. If you know that a child is a victim or a child tells you about abuse he or she has experienced, you may also call 911. Depending on the situation and your location, you will be directed to bring the child to the police station, the hospital, or another location.
What is Child Abuse?
Child abuse, or child maltreatment, is an act by a parent or caretaker that results in or allows the child to be subjected to death, physical injury, sexual assault, or emotional harm. Emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse are all different forms of child abuse.
Child sexual abuse is any sexual act performed with a child by an adult or older child, with or without force or the threat of force. Child sexual abuse is most commonly committed by someone known to the child, including family members. In this case, the act may be considered incest. Incest is overt and/or covert sexual contact or acts between people who are related genetically, by marriage, by living arrangements, or in whom a child perceives a trusting relationship, for example parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, step-parents, foster parents. Incest is one of the most common forms of child sexual abuse. It may start as seemingly innocent touching and progress to more serious acts. It can continue for years. Other individuals who may commit child sexual abuse include neighbors, family friends, baby sitters, religious leaders, youth group leaders, or others with a power advantage of any kind over the child. Child sexual abuse may also be committed by a stranger. The acts can include: touching or non-touching, verbal seduction or abuse, anal or vaginal intercourse, oral sex, sodomy, manual stimulation, direct threats, implied threats, or other forms of abuse.
What are Child Sexual Abuse and Incest?