Myths

Myth:
Child abuse only happens in some parts of society.

REALITY:
Child abuse happens across all sectors of society, including different
socio-economic and ethnic groups, and in both city and rural communities.

Myth:
Children usually tell someone that
they are being abused.

REALITY:
Most children do not tell. Abusers can be very effective in making
children too fearful to talk about what is going on.
Often children do not have the words to use to let someone
know what is happening to them.

Myth:
Children are usually sexually abused by strangers.

REALITY:
Most children who are sexually abused are abused
by someone they know and trust.

Myth:
Most children who are abused do something to cause it.

REALITY:
The child is always the victim. The responsibility for
the abuse lies solely with the adult.

Myth:
Children who disclose abuse and later
retract their stories were lying about the abuse.

REALITY:
It is extremely common for children who have truthfully
disclosed abuse to retract (take back what they have told)
due to negative adult reactions to the disclosure of the abuse.

Myth:
Children are very suggestible and easily
“make up” stories of abuse.

REALITY:
Children do not have the cognitive abilities to
sustain stories of abuse that aren’t real.

Myth:
Children with disabilities are less likely to become
victims of abuse than children without disabilities.

REALITY:
Research shows that children with disabilities are
3.4 times more likely to be abused than children without disabilities.

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