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April 28, 1989

By Silence Betrayed: Sexual Abuse of Children in America

Author Affiliations

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Denver

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Denver

JAMA. 1989;261(16):2428-2430. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420160168045

The Sexual Trafficking in Children: An Investigation of the Child Sex Trade, by Daniel S. Campagna and Donald L. Poffenberger, 250 pp, $24.95, paper $17.95, Dover, Mass, Auburn House Publishing Co, 1988.  About 30 years ago the medical profession, like the general public, reacted with shock, revulsion, and disbelief to the evidence that occasionally parents physically attacked and sometimes fatally abused their own children.By 1986, the American Humane Society's annual statistics indicated 2 million reports of child abuse and neglect, 15.7% of them sexual abuse. A steep rise in the percentage of reports due to sexual abuse shows how its recognition has lagged behind the more visible physical abuse.But in the Los Angeles Times of October 25, 1985, a nationwide telephone survey of 2627 randomly chosen men and women reported that 22% of them admitted to having been sexually abused at some time before the age of 18.