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Therapy Chat

Welcome to Therapy Chat podcast! Whether you're a therapist or not, you'll be fascinated by the discussions on this podcast, which focuses on emotions and well being. Baltimore area clinical social worker Laura Reagan, LCSW-C, specializes in trauma related to family of origin issues and trauma. Laura interviews psychotherapists, authors and other experts about psychotherapy, mindfulness, trauma, worthiness, perfectionism, self compassion, attachment, parenting, self care and much more. Find more about Laura at . 


Apr 29, 2016

This is Part 2 of a series about Sexual Assault Awareness, and today’s focus is on Childhood Sexual Abuse. Let’s jump right into our topic!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Childhood Sexual Abuse is “a form of child abuse including sexual activity with a minor who is not capable of consenting.” Remember that a child CANNOT give consent to sexual activity!
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse is not always physical contact, but can include digital/online interaction, fondling, exhibitionism, child pornography, sex trafficking, and much more.
  • In 93% of cases, the sexual abuser of a child is someone known to the child or the family.
  • Most statistics under-represent the frequency of occurrence, but 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys will be sexually abused during childhood.
  • Up to 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males have been sexually abused during childhood.
  • Being abused makes it more likely to be sexually assaulted later in life.
  • Most offenders are male, with about 33% being juveniles.
  • There is a “grooming process” used by the abuser to draw the child into a sexual relationship, and usually, the abuser will fill roles of trust and value in the victim’s family.
  • The effects of childhood sexual abuse are emotional problems, mental health issues, behavioral problems, and academic problems.
  • The effects can also include PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicide, and eating disorders.
  • Many times these behaviors are not recognized as signs of sexual abuse.
  • Protect children by showing interest in their lives, knowing the people in their lives, and knowing caregivers especially well.
  • Background checks and the sex offender registry are NOT foolproof!
  • Know the warning signs, both physical and behavioral.
  • Know how to ask questions to the child and how to respond without judgment and blame.
  • Report abuse to the police or to Child Protective Services.
  • Call the Child Help National Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
  • Help is available at sexual abuse crisis centers. Visit and search by zip code.
  • Be sure to find a therapist with specific training in the field of sexual abuse. Not all therapists are qualified to help in all areas.
  • Other resources include: and