Myth: Child abuse only happens in some parts of society.
Reality: Child abuse happens across all sectors of society including different socio-economic and ethnic groups, and in both city and rural communities.
Myth: Children usually tell someone that they are being abused.
Reality: Most children do not tell. Abusers can be very effective in making children too fearful to talk about what is going on. Often children do not have the words to use to let someone know what is happening to them.
Myth: Children are usually sexually abused by strangers.
Reality: Most children who are sexually abused are abused by someone they know and trust.
Myth: Most children who are abused do something to cause it.
Reality: The child is always the victim. The responsibility for the abuse lies solely with the adult.
Myth: Children who disclose abuse and later retract their stories were lying about the abuse.
Reality: It is extremely common for children who have truthfully disclosed abuse to retract (take back what they have told) due to negative adult reactions to the disclosure of the abuse.
Myth: Children are very suggestible and easily “make up” stories of abuse.
Reality: Children do not have the cognitive abilities to sustain stories of abuse that aren’t real.
Myth: Children with disabilities are less likely to become victims of abuse than children without disabilities.
Reality: Children with disabilities are at significantly increased risk of abuse than those without disabilities. Research shows that they are 3.4 times more likely to be abused than children without disabilities.