|Gonzales Regional Children's Advocacy Center
Gonzales and Lavaca
|1604 St. Paul St., Gonzales, Tx 78629 Phone 830-672-1278
|A 501 (C) (3) Tax exempt organization
To restore the dignity, hope
and security to children of
Gonzales, Lavaca and
surrounding counties by uniting
public officials and our
Sexual abuse occurs when a person forces a child to have any form of sexual contact or makes a child perform
sexual acts. Sexual abuse may involve touching private parts (clothed or unclothed), penetration using an object,
forced sexual acts between children, or making the child view, read or participate in pornography. These acts are
abuse even when offenders say they are gentle and didn’t hurt the child.
Sexual abuse is also known as molestation and exploitation. Sexual molestation does not always mean sexual
intercourse. Sometimes older children molest younger or smaller children. Sexual acts between children become
molestation when one child uses coercion, force or violence to get the other child to do the acts. Young molesters
should be reported to social services agencies so they can receive help.
Sexual molestation is overwhelming to children, especially when an adult is involved. Most children are taught to
trust adults. They tend to believe what adults tell them is true rather than to rely on their own feelings. This works
against them two ways. If the molester tells them that what is being done is OK, they may doubt their own feelings
that it is not. If a parents’ initial reaction when they hear the child’s molestation report is “This can’t be true!”, the
child may wonder if his or her own feelings are mistaken. Children almost never tell about abuse “to create
problems.” More often, they fear that telling will make people angry at them.
It is extremely difficult for children to report abuse.
Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse in Children
• Trouble walking or sitting
• Displays knowledge or interest in sexual acts inappropriate to his or her age, or even seductive behavior
• Makes strong efforts to avoid a specific person, without an obvious reason
• Doesn’t want to change clothes in front of others or participate in physical activities
• An STD or pregnancy, especially under the age of 14
• Runs away from home