Child: A person who has not attained maturity or the age of legal majority. While this varies from state to state, the federal definition of the age of legal majority in most circumstances is someone who has not yet attained the age of 18. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as every human being below the age 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE): Practices by which a person, usually an adult, achieves sexual gratification, financial gain, or advancement through the sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child.
Groomed: Process by which child molesters lower inhibitions of their victims. It can begin innocuously, creating trust.
Normalization: The process by which an idea, concept, or behavior becomes an accepted part of societal culture. Once this occurs, something that was once clearly understood as abhorrent or harmful becomes considered “just the way it is.” With more barriers removed and further normalizations it becomes viewed as beneficial or even preferential – the thing to have, the way to be, the expected behavior.
Pornified: Transformation of a person, an object, or sexual behavior into pornographic standards. All sex or sexually explicit images are not pornography, yet sex has become equated with pornography and pornography equated with sex.
Positive Development: The mix of positive opportunities, supports, resources and relationships made available to children and youth from their parents, other adults, peers, socializing institutions such as schools, and the communities they live in which increases the likelihood that they are healthy, caring and responsible.
Prevention: All approaches, programs, and strategies that address a specific behavior – before or in response to – it being acted upon.
**Prevention Definition Note: There is not a common definition of what prevention is. Advancing a common definition is a critical goal for this Coalition. For now a composite of definitions is being used.
Comprehensive: A comprehensive strategy would include a coordinated national plan, multiple approaches, and thorough evaluation of existing programs and assure sufficient resources to simultaneously address the current victims and perpetrators; while effectively preventing any further child sexual abuse. Comprehensive efforts are also commonly referenced as including work across the socio-ecological model or the Spectrum of Prevention. Effective prevention strategies must target not just individual behaviors but also the environment in which they occur.
Prevention Strategies – Before Primary Prevention: is what happens proactively for the general population, before a problem arises. Conditions are created for a healthy environment that encourages a state of health and well-being for everyone and that make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Prevention Strategies – After Early Intervention or Secondary prevention: is what happens at the earliest sign of a problem, or whenever a person or group can be identified “at risk” of developing a problem. Tertiary prevention: is what happens to intervene in the family cycle of violence or to prevent recidivism or relapse.36 This level of prevention is to address the harm and to treat.
Sexual Objects: Made into a thing for others’ use.