The Primary Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
Primary prevention, not primarily reaction.

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Ways We Spread Myths

Myths around the topic of child sexual abuse can be rampant, because we tend to react emotionally rather than rationally. There are a variety of ways in which we spread myths on topics related to sexual violence, ranging from using incorrect terminology, dehumanizing abusers, and stigmatizing mental health, to the conversations we have every day.

The best way we can help stop sexual abuse is by spreading awareness of the facts, awareness of the myths around sexual abuse and how we spread them, and knowing where to go when we need resources related to preventing abuse and reacting to a disclosure of abuse.

Some of the myths you might see around child sexual abuse include:


  • Those who abuse children have a sexual attraction to children (are pedophiles)
  • Victims wait years to report abuse because they want money or fame
  • Pedophilia is the same thing as abuse
  • Boys are not sexually abused
  • False allegations are common


  • Victims let abuse happen and enjoy the activity
  • Those who abuse children are always adults
  • Sexual abuse only involves penetration or sexual touching
  • Only men perpetrate sexual abuse
  • Only monsters and strangers sexually abuse children