In the State of Florida, between 361,923 and 596,458 children statewide will be the victims of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. According to Miami Herald, these statistics mean between nine and 15 percent of the child population in Florida is victimized by sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse can have long-lasting consequences, and ChildWelfare.gov warns that aggression is a common response to abuse.
Unexplained and sudden aggression may be a warning to parents and caregivers that a child is being victimized by abuse, even if a child is too young or too frightened to come forward and report the behavior. Parents of aggressive children should watch for other potential signs of abuse and should consider seeking assistance for children.
Children may experience lasting aggression and emotional challenges if they become abuse victims. University of Nebraska research on the social and emotional outcomes of child sexual abuse revealed lower self esteem, higher anger levels, higher levels of substance abuse, and increases in aggressive behavior. Some studies suggested the effects were exacerbated when abuse was perpetrated by a father or by a father figure.
Child sexual abuse is a crime, with various Florida statutes prohibiting all types of sexual contact with children. Sexual battery, one of the most serious sexual offenses involving minors, is defined in Florida Statute 794.011 to include oral, anal, or vaginal penetration.
In some cases, sexual abuse of children also results in civil lawsuits when the child or caregiver files a claim against institutions such as clubs and organizations which facilitated the abuse or which were negligent in preventing it. The compensation obtained from civil claims may help to cover or subsidize the cost of therapy necessary to treat anger and aggression resulting from the abuse.