There are many different types of child abuse. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional maltreatment, neglect and exposure to family violence are all forms of child abuse.
Child sexual abuse – also sometimes called child molestation or child sexual assault – may involve fondling a child’s genitals or a perpetrator encouraging a child to fondle their genitals; masturbation with the child either as an observer or participant; oral sex; fondling of breasts; vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, finger or other object; voyeurism or exhibitionism. Exposing a child to pornography, or using a child for the purposes of pornography or prostitution is also classified as child sexual abuse.
The online world is providing perpetrators with access to a large number of potential victims. Perpetrators who use instant messaging or other online communication tool to persuade children to engage in sexual activity is a growing danger.