Child Sexual Abuse as a California Domestic Violence Crime

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Child Sexual Abuse as a California Domestic Violence Crime

In California, domestic violence laws apply to all crimes that are perpetrated against one’s child. It therefore follows that a parent who sexually abuses his or her child will be prosecuted as a domestic abuse offender and will consequently face certain consequences in addition to the punishment normally imposed for the specific sex crime committed.

Child sexual abuse is defined as any activity with a child done for the purpose of sexual gratification. It includes, but is not limited to, sexual touching, intercourse, asking a child to expose his or her sexual organs and exposing a child to pornography. It affects families from every social, economic and ethnic background and is a definite problem in this country. While the majority of reported offenders are male, women have been convicted of this offense as well and both heterosexual and same-sex abuse occurs.

Child sexual abuse, when committed against one’s own child is a type of child abuse that has a devastating impact on children and will manifest itself in various ways, depending largely on the age of the child. Some common types of symptoms seen in victims of child sexual abuse include physical complaints, such as a headache or stomachache, eating disorders, genital or rectal symptoms, such as burning or itching, bowel disorders, such as being unable to control one’s bowel and social symptoms that include high-risk sexual behavior or an inappropriate interest in or knowledge about sex, drug and/or alcohol abuse, withdrawal, excessive fear or anxiety and depression.

Penalties for sexually abusing one’s child vary depending on the age of the child, on the specific crime and on the severity of the act(s). Formal probation, incarceration and registration as a sex offender are among the most common forms of punishment for a child abuse crime that involves sexual activity. Custody issues will undoubtedly arise and it is quite possible that one will lose his or her child as a result of a sexually related child abuse conviction. A less common but extremely severe penalty exists when the child victim is less than 13 years old. When such is the case, a male parent may be subject to chemical castration upon a first conviction for specific offenses, including sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, oral sex or rape and will undergo mandatory chemical castration upon a second conviction, regardless of whether the first victim was his or her child or the child of another.

Parents or anyone else who suspect that a child is being sexually abused either by a family member or by another should immediately report the activity. Several agencies may offer advice, guidance and resources, including Childhelp USA at 1-800-4-A-CHILD or online at, the Darkness to Light hotline at 1-800-FOR-LIGHT or online at or the National Children’s Alliance at 1-800-239-9950.

Defense Attorneys for Child Abuse Law

The trusted attorneys at the Kavinoky Law Firm may be able to provide assistance in what can only be described as a horrible situation. Their expertise in California’s domestic violence laws enables them to help educate an individual about what might lie ahead for a family affected by domestic abuse and, more specifically, the sexual abuse of a child. To learn more, contact them today for a free consultation.