Child-on-Child Sexual Assault (COCSA)

What is COCSA?

COCSA stands for Child-On-Child-Sexual-Assault. COCSA refers to any time that a child sexually assaults another child. This applies to all children – from age 0-18. 

Conversations and Culture Around COCSA

COCSA is a very intense and complex subject and type of trauma, and one that therefore needs to be discussed to be understood. Unfortunately, due to the complexity and discomfort around the subject, it’s been treated in the opposite manner for far too long and been pushed under the rug by society for a very long time. 

Here are just a few of the reasons that COCSA can be so complex compared to other SA cases – both for victims, perpetrators, and others in the childrens’ lives…

TRIGGER WARNING: The following talks about reasons why perpetrators of SA in these specific COCSA scenarios might not be fully to blame. This could be incredibly triggering and is a very complex and hard subject. Please read only when stable and ready to read. Remember this ONLY applies to specific scenarios and is very specific to COCSA and very specific to specific scenarios of COCSA – most of the scenarios we’re discussing here are likely to happen during very young (4-10) ages as well, and potentially by children who are victims of adults who are abusing them. 

  • It’s common for there to not be a clear “bad guy” or someone easy to place the blame on – at least in comparison to non-COCSA SA cases. Often times the child perpetrator has been a victim themselves by an adult in their life and is acting on what they’ve learned. 
  • If the child is extremely young they oftentimes might not know what they’re doing. They also may not have the awareness of how to gauge others’ reactions and when someone is uncomfortable and when they need to stop or may be causing harm to someone.

None of this means that the victim of COCSA is ever wrong in being angry or blaming their abuser.


Last updated on October 27, 2023
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