This study investigated the characteristics of abuse suffered by children, the dimensions of the psychiatric effects associated with abuse, and the factors affecting these. One thousand two cases aged under 18, exposed to sexual abuse, and referred over a 7-year period were assessed. Girls represented 80.8% of cases, and the numbers rose with age. The aggressors were all male, and 88.2% were known to their victim. Approximately half the children were exposed to sexual abuse involving penetration. Psychological pathology was identified in 62.1%. Female gender, the presence of penetration, physical violence, and incest significantly increased the development of psychological pathology. Levels of awareness in people close to and trusted by the child must be raised to minimize the adverse effects of trauma in the long term, preventive measures must be taken, and medical and social support units from which victims can receive assistance need to be established.