Sexual abuse is the least frequently reported form of child abuse (6% of all cases). Experts believe that sexual abuse may be the most underreported type of child maltreatment because of the secrecy, the "conspiracy of silence" that so often surrounds these cases.
The diagnosis of sexual child abuse involves a thorough nonjudgmental history of the immediate events as well as a review of potential similar experiences often independently done by a physician, social worker, and the police department. A complete physical exam of the child which may include the taking of photographs to document sexual abuse is necessarily followed by x-rays and possible laboratory tests.
Children's school programs regarding "good touch...bad touch" can provide parents and other caregivers with a forum in which to role-play and learn to avoid potentially harmful scenarios.
Parents should make sure that their child's daycare center/preschool is licensed and has an open door policy regarding parental visitation.