Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse includes activities by a parent or caregiver such as fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials. 

Sexual abuse is defined as the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child ... to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct, for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct...or the rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.

Signs and Behaviors of the Child or Teen

  • Suddenly refuses to change for gym class
  • Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior
  • Becomes pregnant or contracts a sexually transmitted infection, particularly if under age 14
  • Runs away
  • Reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver
  • Attaches very quickly to strangers or new adults in their environment
  • Fears particular people, places or activities 
  • Regresses to early behaviors such as bed wetting or sleep disturbances

Signs and Behaviors of the Parent or Caretaker

  • Is unduly protective of the child or severely limits the child’s contact with other children, especially of the opposite sex
  • Is secretive and isolated
  • Is jealous or controlling with family members
Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437)
Available 24 hours a day, every day. Don't hesitate to call and get help. 
Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.