The Child Victim 222 The Effects of Sexual Abuse 223 Role of the Parents 225 Assessing the Impact 226 The Case of Lisa 227 The Case of Marie 232 The Adolescent Victim 236
Researchers estimate that about 10 percent of boys and 25 percent of girls in America have been sexually abused. This chapter reviews some of the commonly held assumptions and prejudices concerning children and adolescents who have been victims of sexual assault. Certain of these assumptions have resulted in young victims being treated as if they were guilty persons rather than victims, and some sources of those unfortunate misconceptions are identified here. The first section describes how the trauma of a sexual assault can manifest itself in children’s behavior and is illustrated by two case studies, one concerning a 5-year-old girl who was raped by a stranger, and the other concerning a 9-year-old girl who was molested by a neighbor.