Sexual abuse today: present and pervasive

Lisa J. Pfitzer


Sexual abuse continues to have a pervasive presence in our society, seriously affecting victims and their non-offending family members. Sexual abuse can be present in many different situations, whether within the family or the greater community, while the child is at school or participating in extracurricular activities, such as sports or arts. Furthermore, access to and exploitation of children seems to have endless potential in the relatively new world of electronics and the internet, as seen in the production of child pornography and child sex trafficking. Protecting children from these harmful scenarios remains at the heart of caring for the pediatric patient.

Conclusion - Without doubt, sexual abuse persists, unthreatened and covert through traditional and now nontraditional venues. It is essential that health care providers are aware of the family, community and world conditions that so readily promote sexual abuse, and be ready to advocate and protect the most vulnerable members of our society.


Sexual abuse; Child pornography; Sex trafficking

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