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For the purposes of this site, "sexual abuse" refers specifically to anyone under the age of 18 (regardless of your age now) who has been sexually abused or assaulted.
It is commonly referred to as Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA).

Coming soon: A comprehensive, detailed and easy to understand page
defining sexual abuse
. Until then, please see the links below.

Please also see the web development notes below this page.
These notes will one day be condensed down to the message this page needs to convey.
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Effects of Child Sexual Abuse

Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse

 


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Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force,
making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent.

https://www.apa.org/topics/sexual-abuse

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This is an example of sexual child abuse.

Nine-year-old Susan's mother works at night. Her stepfather James is around
when she goes to bed, so many evenings James lies down beside Susan. As she
goes to sleep, he rubs her breasts and genital area.

Examples of Sexual Child Abuse

Fondling a child's genitals.
Having intercourse with a child.
Having oral sex with a child.
Having sex in front of a child.
Having a child touch an older person's genitals.
Using a child in pornography.
Showing X-rated books or movies to a child.

https://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/abuse

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Sexual abuse is any sexual contact between a child and an adult, or using a
child for sexual purposes. It's often done by someone the child knows and
trusts. In BC, a child is anyone under the age of 19.1 Sexual exploitation
is another form of child sexual abuse. It happens when a child is talked
into or forced into sex acts in exchange for things like money, drugs, food
or shelter.2

https://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/infosheet/childhood-sexual-abuse-a-mental-health-issue#what

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Child sexual abuse
Sexual abuse of children involves forcing or enticing a child or young
person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware
of what is happening.
[1]

The activities may involve physical contact, including abuse by penetration
or non-penetrative acts (such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching
outside clothing). They may also include non-contact activities, such as
involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images,
watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually
inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse including
via the internet. Child sexual abuse includes child sexual exploitation.

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/publications/inquiry/interim/nature-effects-child-sexual-abuse/what-is-child-sexual-abuse

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There are 2 types of sexual abuse - contact and non-contact abuse. And
sexual abuse can happen in person or online.
Contact abuse is where an abuser makes physical contact with a child. This
includes:
sexual touching of any part of a child's body, whether they're clothed or
not
using a body part or object to rape or penetrate a child
forcing a child to take part in sexual activities
making a child undress or touch someone else.

Contact abuse can include touching, kissing and oral sex - sexual abuse
isn't just penetrative.

Non-contact abuse is where a child is abused without being touched by the
abuser. This can be in person or online and includes:
exposing or flashing
showing pornography
exposing a child to sexual acts
making them masturbate
forcing a child to make, view or share child abuse images or videos
making, viewing or distributing child abuse images or videos
forcing a child to take part in sexual activities or conversations online or
through a smartphone.

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/child-sexual-abuse/#what-is

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Experts defined child sexual abuse broadly as the involvement of children in
developmentally inappropriate sexual activities by an older person, through
either persuasion or coercion. Child sexual abuse encompasses direct sexual
contact and engagement in or exposure to pornography or inappropriate sexual
materials, as well as inappropriate sexual talk with children.

Experts noted that the definition of child sexual abuse encompasses sexual
actions by children toward other, younger children. Many cases of child
sexual abuse involve adolescents sexually abusing younger children. Most
perpetrators of child sexual abuse, however, are adult men. Most sexual
abusers of children are not strangers, but rather people who are known to
children, such as relatives, neighbors and teachers.

Girls appear to be at significantly greater risk of being sexually abused
than boys, although experts noted that gender estimates are somewhat
unreliable since they depend on self-reporting, and boys may be less likely
to report sexual abuse. Children of all ages are victims of child sexual
abuse. Experts noted a range of risk indicators for child sexual abuse,
highlighting social isolation, poor supervision, and the presence of
stepfathers.

Child sexual abuse is, according to experts, characterized by distinct
social and cultural challenges. Social stigma interferes with victim
disclosure, contributes to the shame victims feel, and is tied to certain
institutions' history of covering up child sexual abuse. In Alberta, there
are high rates of child sexual abuse in First Nations communities due to a
complex history of community and family destabilization caused by policies
such as residential schools.

http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/pubs/mtg/albertachildmaltreatment/page10.html

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Sexual abuse occurs when a person in a position of power (an adult or
another child) forces or coerces a child into any sexual activity. It
includes both contact and non-contact perpetration.

Childhood sexual abuse is not limited to physical contact and can include
things like showing pornography to a child. Some perpetrators use physical
force, but many others use less obvious forms of coercion like emotional
manipulation, gift giving, threats or blackmail. Sexual abuse affects
individuals regardless of gender or sexual identity.

https://www.cvtcnyc.org/en/csa

*******

Child sexual abuse is any interaction between a child and an adult (or
another child) in which the child is used for the sexual stimulation of the
perpetrator or an observer. Sexual abuse can include both touching and
non-touching behaviors. Touching behaviors may involve touching of the
vagina, penis, breasts or buttocks, oral-genital contact, or sexual
intercourse. Non-touching behaviors can include voyeurism (trying to look at
a child's naked body), exhibitionism, or exposing the child to pornography.
Abusers often do not use physical force, but may use play, deception,
threats, or other forms of coercion to engage children and maintain their
silence. Abusers frequently employ persuasive and manipulative tactics to
keep the child engaged. These tactics-referred to as "grooming"-may include
buying gifts or arranging special activities, which can further confuse the
victim.

https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources/child_sexual_abuse_fact_sheet_parents_teachers_caregivers.pdf

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CSA encompasses many types of sexually abusive acts toward children,
including sexual assault, rape, incest, and the commercial sexual
exploitation of children. Although there are some differences among these,
the unifying term of "child sexual abuse" is used throughout this article to
describe commonalities across these experiences. There are many definitions
of CSA in use, each of which may have subtle differences in coverage or
terminology that influence surveillance and reporting efforts, and
potentially lead to different policy, service, or legal implications.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), child
sexual abuse is "any completed or attempted (noncompleted) sexual act,
sexual contact with, or exploitation (ie,noncontact sexual interaction) of a
child by a caregiver."2 The CDC provides specific definitions for each of
the boldface terms, distinguishing sexual acts as those involving
penetration, abusive sexual contact as intentional touching with no
penetration, and noncontact sexual abuse such as exposing a child to sexual
activity, taking sexual photographs or videos of a child, sexual harassment,
prostitution, or trafficking.2 The World Health Organization (WHO) defines
CSA as:

  The involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not
fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the
child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that
violate the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is
evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who
by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or
power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the
other person. This may include but is not limited to: the inducement or
coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity; the
exploitative use of child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual
practices; the exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and
materials.3


Of note, these definitions include as CSA acts that both do and do not
involve physical touching or physical force, including completed sex acts,
attempted sex acts, abusive sexual touching, and noncontact assaults such as
harassment, threats, forced exposure to pornography, and taking unwanted
sexual images, such as filming or photography. In some instances, the
recipient may not be aware of their own victimization, or that violence has
been perpetrated against them. This breadth of scope reflects the
recognition that imposing sexual intent of any sort on someone against his
or her will is an inherently violent act, regardless of the use of physical
force or resulting contact or injury. These definitions also raise the
important consideration of consent, and identify categories of people who
are unable to consent or resist because of age, disability, state of
consciousness or intoxication, or fear of harm to self or others.

Because a legal age of majority is required for consent, all sexual acts
between an adult and underage child (even with child assent) are, by
definition, CSA. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) endorses the
Council of Europe's definition of child sex abuse, which includes activities
involving a child under the legal age as provided by national law, as well
as sexual activities with children that involve coercion, abuse of a
position of trust or influence, or exploitation of a vulnerable or dependent
child.4 Additional acts of CSA toward children involve the sexual
exploitation of children through prostitution or abusive images; profiting
from or any role in the facilitation, observation, or exploitation of a
child's involvement in sexual performances; causing a child to witness sex
abuse or sex acts; and child solicitation.4


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4413451/

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Child sexual abuse is any interaction between a child and an adult (or
another child) in which the child is used for the sexual stimulation of the
perpetrator or an observer. Sexual abuse can include both touching and
non-touching behaviors. Non-touching behaviors can include voyeurism (trying
to look at a child's naked body), exhibitionism, or exposing the child to
pornography. Children of all ages, races, ethnicities, and economic
backgrounds may experience sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse affects both
girls and boys in all kinds of neighborhoods and communities.

https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/sexual-abuse

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According to the American Medical Association (1992), childhood sexual abuse
consists of contact abuse ranging from fondling to rape and non-contact
abuse, such as modeling inappropriate sexual behavior, forced involvement in
child pornography, or exhibitionism.

https://vawnet.org/sites/default/files/materials/files/2016-09/AR_PsychConsequences.pdf


*******
What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is one of several forms of child maltreatment, which involves
physical or mental harm to children under the age of 18 and is perpetrated
by adults or older children. Being as clear as possible about child sexual
abuse is important.

How is it defined?

Sexual abuse may encompass a wide variety of inappropriate behaviors. This
type of abuse generally involves the sexual mistreatment of a child by an
adult or an older child. The abuse may take place in both direct and
indirect ways, but all such acts are forms of child abuse. While clear and
consistent definitions of child sexual abuse continue to develop, everyone
agrees that either indirect or direct contact between adults and children of
a sexual nature is illegal, inappropriate and abusive.

https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/kids-family/talking-to-children-about-sexual-abuse#section-0

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Child Sex Abuse is:
1. Any sexual contact between an adult and child, defined as:

a.. touching, with the intention of sexually arousing the child or providing
sexual arousal for the offending party, kissing, by one whose purpose is
like touching
a.. fondling of genitals or other parts of the body in a sexual or prolonged
manner
a.. overt sexual contact, such as oral-genital contact, or manual
stimulation of genitals or intercourse.
2. Any behavior that is intended to stimulate the child sexually, or to
sexually stimulate the abusing person through the use of the child,
including showing the child erotic materials, photographing the child in a
sexual manner or talking sexually to the child.

3. Sexual contact by a person that is in an older developmental stage than
the child. Even children in the same developmental stage can experience the
act as abusive if physical, emotional, harm is inflicted or used as
coercion.

These are not legal definitions and those can vary from state to state.
Contact your local police department if you are unsure if sexual abuse has
occurred.

https://www.aamft.org/Consumer_Updates/Childhood_Sexual_Abuse.aspx



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What Is Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse includes a wide range of sexual behaviors that take place
between a child and an older child or adult. These sexual behaviors are
intended to erotically arouse the older person, generally without
consideration for the reactions or choices of the child and without
consideration for the effects of the behavior upon the child.

Behaviors that are sexually abusive often involve bodily contact, such as
sexual kissing, touching, fondling of genitals, and oral, anal, or vaginal
intercourse. However, behaviors may be sexually abusive even if they do not
involve contact, such as in the case of genital exposure ("flashing"),
forcing children to watch pornography, verbal pressure for sex, and sexual
exploitation for purposes of prostitution or pornography.

Researchers estimate that, in our country, about 1 out of 6 boys and 1 out
of 4 girls are sexually abused before the age 18.

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/type/sexual_abuse_child.asp

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Defining Child Sexual Abuse

If you are not exactly sure what sexual abuse is, you're not alone. To help
identify abuse, identifying behaviors that are abusive can help determine
what sex abuse is. Sex abuse does include both Touching and Non-Touching
Behaviors

All sexual touching between an adult and a child is sexual abuse. Sexual
touching between children can also be sexual abuse when there is a
significant age difference (often defined as 3 or more years) between the
children or if the children are very different developmentally or size-wise.
Sexual abuse does not have to involve penetration, force, pain, or even
touching. If an adult engages in any sexual behavior (looking, showing, or
touching) with a child to meet the adult's interest or sexual needs, it is
sexual abuse. This includes the manufacture, distribution and viewing of
child pornography.

Child Pornography

The U.S. Department of Justice defines child pornography as any visual
depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (persons less than
18 years old). Images of child pornography are also referred to as child
sexual abuse images. Notably, the legal definition of sexually explicit
conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaging in sexual
activity. A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child
pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive. Additionally, the age
of consent for sexual activity in a given state is irrelevant; any depiction
of a minor less than 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct
is illegal.[i]

Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception,
or possession of any image of child pornography. A violation of federal
child pornography laws is a serious crime, and convicted offenders face
fines severe statutory penalties

https://www.stopitnow.org/faq/the-scope-of-child-sexual-abuse-definition-and-fact-sheet

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Sexual abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional. It can include but is not
limited to:

Child prostitution
Forcing a child to watch a sexual act
Having sex with a child, including oral sex
Persistently intruding on a child's privacy
Speaking to a child in a sexually explicit way
Showing pornography or naked pics/videos to a child
Taking pics/videos of a naked or partly naked child
Exposing genitals or being naked in front of a child
Sending sexual content to a child online or through text
issing, holding or touching a child in a sexual way
Asking or making a child touch genitals or perform sexual acts
Making sexual comments to a child in person, on the phone or online

https://kidshelpline.com.au/parents/issues/understanding-child-sexual-abuse

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7.1 Definition of child sexual abuse

These guidelines adopt the definition of child sexual abuse formulated by
the 1999 WHO Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention (62) which stated that:

"Child sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he
or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or
for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent,
or that violates the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is
evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who
by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or
power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the
other person. This may include but is not limited to:

- the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual
activity;

- the exploitative use of a child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual
practices;

- the exploitative use of children in pornographic performance and
 materials".

7.2 Dynamics of child sexual abuse

The sexual abuse of children is a unique phenomenon; the dynamics are often
very different to that of adult sexual abuse and therefore abuse of this
nature cannot be handled in the same way (38, 63-65). Features that
characterize child sexual abuse include:

? Physical force/violence is very rarely used; rather the perpetrator tries
to manipulate the child's trust and hide the abuse.

? The perpetrator is typically a known and trusted caregiver.

? Child sexual abuse often occurs over many weeks or even years.

? The sexual abuse of children frequently occurs as repeated episodes that
become more invasive with time. Perpetrators usually engage the child in a
gradual process of sexualizing the relationship over time (i.e. grooming).

? Incest/intrafamilial abuse accounts for about one third of all child
sexual abuse cases.

Paedophiles are individuals who prefer sexual contact with children to
adults. They are usually skilled at planning and executing strategies to
involve themselves with children. There is evidence to suggest that
paedophiles may share their information about children (e.g. child
pornography). This can occur at an international level, particularly through
the use of the Internet.

https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/resources/publications/en/guidelines_chap7.pdf

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Child sexual abuse (CSA) can be defined in different ways, depending on who
is using the term and for what purpose. Its definitions may be divided into:
(1) clinical - the broadest one, aimed at making an accurate diagnosis; (2)
legal - limited to behaviours that are illegal in a given country, and (3)
social - the most narrow one, expressing the public awareness about the
problem (Beisert and Izdebska, 2012).

"This study uses the clinical definition adopted by the World Health
Organization: "The involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she
does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for
which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or
that violates the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is
evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who
by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or
power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the
other person" (cited in: Sajkowska, 2002, p. 7)."

http://fdds.pl/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Wlodarczyk_J_2016_Childhood_Sexual_Abuse_and_Its_Effects.pdf

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WHAT IS SEXUAL ABUSE?
Sexual abuse of a child is when anyone (an adult or another child more than
4 years older) threatens, tricks, or forces a child into sexual contact. It
may include:

Touching a child's genitals or rubbing of an adult's genitals on a child

Intercourse or oral sex

Showing genitals to a child

Showing sexual pictures to a child

Using the child to make pornographic pictures or videos

https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/adult_health/bha_childhood_sexual_abuse/

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Child Sexual Abuse Research: Definitions and Methodological Considerations

The methodological limitations of child abuse research have long been
recognised (Briere, 1992; Runyan, 2000; Widom, 1988). In addition to the
inherent secrecy and sensitivity of the issue, numerous methodological
issues must be noted.

First, researchers use a wide variety of definitions of 'childhood sexual
abuse'. Many general population surveys define it as 'unwanted sexual
contact' without asking for specific details of the behaviour. Some studies
distinguish between 'contact abuse' and 'non-contact abuse' or 'penetrative
abuse' and 'non-penetrative abuse'. Studies use different age cut off points
(before the age of 15, 16, 17 or 18) to define CSA. Studies that focus on
more broadly based definitions of CSA not surprisingly indicate higher
prevalence rates.

https://arrow.tudublin.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1054&context=aaschsslarts&sei-redir=1&referer=http://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=10&q=child+sexual+abuse&hl=en&as_sdt=1,9&as_ylo=2009&as_yhi=2012&as_vis=1&as_s


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Useful Definitions for Reporting on Child Sexual Abuse

Illicit Sexual Behavior: Takes place between an a legal adult and a child
(less than 18 years of age). These sexual activities are intended to
erotically arouse the legal adult, without consideration for the reactions
or choices of the child. Behaviors that are sexually abusive often involve
bodily contact, such as sexual kissing, touching, fondling of genitals, and
oral, anal and vaginal intercourse. Behaviors may also be sexually abusive
despite a lack of contact, such as genital exposure ("flashing"), verbal
pressure for sex, and sexual exploitation for pornography or prostitution.

https://victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/useful-definitions

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Childhood Sexual Abuse

There are many forms of childhood sexual abuse. The sexual abuse can involve
seduction by a beloved relative or it can be a violent act committed by a
stranger. Sexual abuse can be hard to define because of the many different
forms it can take on, the different levels of frequency, the variation of
circumstances it can occur within, and the different relationships that it
may be associated with. Maltz (2002) gives the following definition: "sexual
abuse occurs whenever one person dominates and exploits another by means of
sexual activity or suggestion" (Maltz, 2001a, as cited in Maltz, 2002, p.
321). Ratican (1992) defines childhood sexual abuse as:

any sexual act, overt or covert, between a child and an adult (or older
child, where the younger child's participation is obtained through Ideas and
Research You Can Use: VISTAS 2011 2 seduction or coercion). Irrespective of
how childhood sexual abuse is defined it generally has significant negative
and pervasive psychological impact on its victims. (p. 33)

The majority of sexual abuse happens in childhood, with incest being the
most common form (Courtois, 1996, as cited in Maltz, 2002). The impact of
childhood sexual abuse varies from person to person and from case to case. A
study compared the experiences of women who experienced familial sexual
abuse with women who experienced non-familial abuse. They found that women
who experienced familial abuse reported higher current levels of depression
and anxiety when thinking about the abuse. Other variables they found to
increase the levels of reported distress were abuse experiences that
involved more extensive sexual abuse, a higher number of sexual abuse
experiences, and a younger age during the first sexual abuse experience
(Hartman, Finn, & Leon, 1987). While the nature and severity of the sexual
act may cause more serious impact, many other factors may influence the
degree of damage the victim experiences. Other factors may include the
perspective of the individual, the individual's internal resources, and the
individual's level of support (Courtois, 1988, as cited in Ratican, 1992).
Although not all forms of childhood sexual abuse include direct touch, it is
important for therapists to understand that childhood sexual abuse can take
on many different forms that still exploit the victim sexually and cause
harm. The perpetrator may exploit the child by introducing them to
pornography prematurely, assaulting them through the internet, or
manipulating them into taking pornographic photos.

Childhood sexual abuse infringes on the basic rights of human beings.
Children should be able to have sexual experiences at the appropriate
developmental time and within their control and choice. The nature and
dynamics of sexual abuse and sexually abusive relationships are often
traumatic. When sexual abuse occurs in childhood it can hinder normal social
growth and be a cause of many different psychosocial problems (Maltz, 2002).
The next section of this paper will review literature and research
concerning these long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse.

https://www.counseling.org/docs/disaster-and-trauma_sexual-abuse/long-term-effects-of-childhood-sexual-abuse.pdf

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Definitions

Child sexual abuse is defined as any sexual activity with a child where
consent is not or cannot be given. This includes sexual contact that is
accomplished by force or threat of force, regardless of the age of the
participants, and all sexual contact between an adult and a child,
regardless of whether there is deception or the child understands the sexual
nature of the activity. Sexual contact between an older child and a younger
child also can be abusive if there is a significant disparity in age,
development, or size, rendering the younger child incapable of giving
informed consent. The sexually abusive acts may include sexual penetration,
sexual touching, or noncontact sexual acts such as exposure or voyeurism
(2). Legal definitions vary by state;

https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Health-Care-for-Underserved-Women/Adult-Manifestations-of-Childhood-Sexual-Abuse



*******

What constitutes "sexual abuse"?

The Incest Survivors Resource Network states that "the erotic use of a
child, whether physically or emotionally, is sexual exploitation in the
fullest meaning of the term, even if no bodily contact is ever made." It's
important to notice this clause about "no sexual contact." Often, victims of
sexual abuse will try to downplay their experience by saying that it "wasn't
that bad." It's vital to recognize that abuse comes in many shapes, colors,
and sizes-and that all abuse is bad.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/somatic-psychology/201303/trauma-childhood-sexual-abuse


*******

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is defined as the "involvement of the child in sexual activity
to provide sexual gratification or financial benefit to the perpetrator,
including contacts for sexual purposes, molestation, statutory rape,
prostitution, pornography, exposure, incest, or other sexually exploitive
activities" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012: 125).

From: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second
Edition),2015

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/psychology/sexual-abuse

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Q: What is sexual abuse?

A:  Sexual abuse includes any sexual or sexually motivated behavior that is
done to someone without that person's consent. This includes a continuum of
intrusive behaviors ranging from hands-off offending, such as voyeurism and
verbal comments, up to and including sexual penetration with or without
violence. The key is that there is no consent.

https://www.atsa.com/what-sexual-abuse

*******

"Child sexual abuse can take place within the family, by a parent,
step-parent, sibling or other relative; or outside the home, for example, by
a friend, neighbor, child care person, teacher, or stranger. When sexual
abuse has occurred, a child can develop many distressing feelings, thoughts
and behaviors."

https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Child-Sexual-Abuse-009.aspx

*******

What is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is any form of forced or unwanted sexual activity. The
perpetrator of sexual abuse may use physical force, make threats or take
advantage of a person unable to give consent.

Sexual abuse mainly happens between people who know each other and can occur
in the context of domestic violence.

Sexual abuse has impacts on a person's physical and emotional health. It can
lead to long-term mental health issues, including anxiety and post-traumatic
stress disorder.

Types of sexual abuse

Sexual abuse includes:
rape
deliberately causing pain during sex
assaulting the genitals
forced sex without protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted
infections (STIs)
forcing someone to perform sexual acts
using sexually degrading insults
unwanted touching
unwanted exposure to pornography
sexual jokes
withholding sex as punishment
using sex to coerce compliance

https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/understand-domestic-violence/types-of-abuse/sexual-abuse/


*******
 

What exactly defines child sex abuse?

Child Sex Abuse is:

1. Any sexual contact between an adult and child, defined as:

  • touching, with the intention of sexually arousing the child or providing sexual arousal for the offending party, kissing, by one whose purpose is like touching
  • fondling of genitals or other parts of the body in a sexual or prolonged manner
  • overt sexual contact, such as oral-genital contact, or manual stimulation of genitals or intercourse.

    2. Any behavior that is intended to stimulate the child sexually, or to sexually stimulate the abusing person through the use of the child, including showing the child erotic materials, photographing the child in a sexual manner or talking sexually to the child.

    3. Sexual contact by a person that is in an older developmental stage than the child. Even children in the same developmental stage can experience the act as abusive if physical, emotional, harm is inflicted or used as coercion.

    These are not legal definitions and those can vary from state to state. Contact your local police department if you are unsure if sexual abuse has occurred.

     
    *******
     

    What Is Child Sexual Abuse?

    Sexual abuse is one of several forms of child maltreatment, which involves physical or mental harm to children under the age of 18 and is perpetrated by adults or older children. Being as clear as possible about child sexual abuse is important. How is it defined?

    Sexual abuse may encompass a wide variety of inappropriate behaviors. This type of abuse generally involves the sexual mistreatment of a child by an adult or an older child. The abuse may take place in both direct and indirect ways, but all such acts are forms of child abuse. While clear and consistent definitions of child sexual abuse continue to develop, everyone agrees that either indirect or direct contact between adults and children of a sexual nature is illegal, inappropriate and abusive.

     

    https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/kids-family/talking-to-children-about-sexual-abuse

     

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    Sexual abuse occurs when a person in a position of power (an adult or another child) forces or coerces a child into any sexual activity. It includes both contact and non-contact perpetration.

    Childhood sexual abuse is not limited to physical contact and can include things like showing pornography to a child. Some perpetrators use physical force, but many others use less obvious forms of coercion like emotional manipulation, gift giving, threats or blackmail. Sexual abuse affects individuals regardless of gender or sexual identity. 

    Often, people who have been sexually abused feel guilty for not having been safe enough to tell someone at the time.  Often people feel shame, believing that they allowed the abuse to happen.  No child chooses to be hurt, and whether you told someone or not, this was not your fault.  

    https://www.cvtcnyc.org/en/csa

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    PHENOMENOLOGY AND DEFINITIONS

    CSA encompasses many types of sexually abusive acts toward children, including sexual assault, rape, incest, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Although there are some differences among these, the unifying term of “child sexual abuse” is used throughout this article to describe commonalities across these experiences. There are many definitions of CSA in use, each of which may have subtle differences in coverage or terminology that influence surveillance and reporting efforts, and potentially lead to different policy, service, or legal implications. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), child sexual abuse is “any completed or attempted (noncompleted) sexual act, sexual contact with, or exploitation (ie,noncontact sexual interaction) of a child by a caregiver.” The CDC provides specific definitions for each of the boldface terms, distinguishing sexual acts as those involving penetration, abusive sexual contact as intentional touching with no penetration, and noncontact sexual abuse such as exposing a child to sexual activity, taking sexual photographs or videos of a child, sexual harassment, prostitution, or trafficking. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines CSA as:

    The involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that violate the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person. This may include but is not limited to: the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity; the exploitative use of child in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; the exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.

     

    Of note, these definitions include as CSA acts that both do and do not involve physical touching or physical force, including completed sex acts, attempted sex acts, abusive sexual touching, and noncontact assaults such as harassment, threats, forced exposure to pornography, and taking unwanted sexual images, such as filming or photography. In some instances, the recipient may not be aware of their own victimization, or that violence has been perpetrated against them. This breadth of scope reflects the recognition that imposing sexual intent of any sort on someone against his or her will is an inherently violent act, regardless of the use of physical force or resulting contact or injury. These definitions also raise the important consideration of consent, and identify categories of people who are unable to consent or resist because of age, disability, state of consciousness or intoxication, or fear of harm to self or others.

    Because a legal age of majority is required for consent, all sexual acts between an adult and underage child (even with child assent) are, by definition, CSA. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) endorses the Council of Europe's definition of child sex abuse, which includes activities involving a child under the legal age as provided by national law, as well as sexual activities with children that involve coercion, abuse of a position of trust or influence, or exploitation of a vulnerable or dependent child. Additional acts of CSA toward children involve the sexual exploitation of children through prostitution or abusive images; profiting from or any role in the facilitation, observation, or exploitation of a child's involvement in sexual performances; causing a child to witness sex abuse or sex acts; and child solicitation.

     

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4413451/

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    Child sexual abuse is any interaction between a child and an adult (or another child) in which the child is used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or an observer. Sexual abuse can include both touching and non-touching behaviors. Non-touching behaviors can include voyeurism (trying to look at a child’s naked body), exhibitionism, or exposing the child to pornography. Children of all ages, races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds may experience sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse affects both girls and boys in all kinds of neighborhoods and communities.

    https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/sexual-abuse

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    Defining Child Sexual Abuse
    If you are not exactly sure what sexual abuse is, you’re not alone. To help identify abuse, identifying behaviors that are abusive can help determine what sex abuse is. Sex abuse does include both Touching and Non-Touching Behaviors

    All sexual touching between an adult and a child is sexual abuse. Sexual touching between children can also be sexual abuse when there is a significant age difference (often defined as 3 or more years) between the children or if the children are very different developmentally or size-wise. Sexual abuse does not have to involve penetration, force, pain, or even touching. If an adult engages in any sexual behavior (looking, showing, or touching) with a child to meet the adult’s interest or sexual needs, it is sexual abuse. This includes the manufacture, distribution and viewing of child pornography.

    Child Pornography
    The U.S. Department of Justice defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (persons less than 18 years old). Images of child pornography are also referred to as child sexual abuse images. Notably, the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaging in sexual activity. A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive. Additionally, the age of consent for sexual activity in a given state is irrelevant; any depiction of a minor less than 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct is illegal.[i]

    Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception, or possession of any image of child pornography. A violation of federal child pornography laws is a serious crime, and convicted offenders face fines severe statutory penalties

    https://www.stopitnow.org/faq/the-scope-of-child-sexual-abuse-definition-and-fact-sheet

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    Q: What is sexual abuse?
    A:  Sexual abuse includes any sexual or sexually motivated behavior that is done to someone without that person’s consent. This includes a continuum of intrusive behaviors ranging from hands-off offending, such as voyeurism and verbal comments, up to and including sexual penetration with or without violence. The key is that there is no consent.

    https://www.atsa.com/what-sexual-abuse

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    FBI Definition.......

    Forcible Rape/Legacy Rape—The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape, regardless of the age of the victim, are included. Statutory offenses (no force used—victim under age of consent) are excluded.

    https://www.ucrdatatool.gov/offenses.cfm

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    Q: Do I count Statutory Rape under the revised UCR definition of Rape?

    A: No. The FBI UCR Program collects Statutory Rape only in the NIBRS. The NIBRS defines Statutory Rape as “Nonforcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent,” and further explains that “If the victim was incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or mental impairment, either temporary or permanent, law enforcement should classify the offense as Rape, not Statutory Rape.”

    https://ucr.fbi.gov/recent-program-updates/new-rape-definition-frequently-asked-questions

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    Child sexual abuse refers to any attempted or completed “sexual act, sexual contact with, or exploitation (i.e., noncontact sexual interaction) of a child by acaregiver.”2

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-new-home/201810/how-can-we-identify-teenage-victims-child-sexual-abuse

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    What Constitutes Child Sexual Abuse?

    Many people think of childhood sexual abuse as being an adult molesting a child. But childhood sexual abuse also includes an older child molesting a younger child. In fact, child sexual abuse includes any contact between an adult and a child or an older child and a younger child for the purposes of sexual stimulation of either the child or the adult or older child and that results in sexual gratification for the older person. This can range from non-touching offenses, such as exhibitionism and child pornography, to fondling, penetration with a body part or an object, and child prostitution. A child does not have to be touched to be molested.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/201910/why-it-is-important-adult-survivors-csa-disclose

     

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    "Yes, what Rebecca described was indeed sexual abuse. According to the Incest Survivors Resource Network International (ISRNI), “The erotic use of a child, whether physically or emotionally, is sexual exploitation in the fullest meaning of the term, even if no bodily contact is ever made(emphasis mine)." 

    "Molesters use various manipulative techniques, such as saying, “I’m a good guy,” to gain trust, or they might use intimidation or force."

    "Because the media usually discusses violent rapes and assaults rather than the coercion that children experience, victims of childhood molestation often try to downplay what happened to them and think it should not impact them."

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/somatic-psychology/201408/was-i-molested-even-though-my-clothes-never-came

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  • The Child Sexual Predator
    Violating, manipulative, and deceitful; they engage in behavior that is
    nearly unimaginable. Sexual predators and pedophiles are the true wolf in
    sheep's clothing. This group preys upon the most innocent and vulnerable in
    society.

    Although their behavior is predatory, their 'mask of normalcy' will hide
    their true nature, making red flags difficult to detect. They can present as
    a powerfulleader, successful business person, gentle professional, helpful
    neighbor, or awkward co-worker. However, only their victims will know the
    magnitude of their darkness.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/neurosagacity/201801/larry-nassar-exploiting-privilege-and-trust

    Great article to link.......

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    Great article to link on "grooming":

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/protecting-children-sexual-abuse/201901/what-parents-need-know-about-sexual-grooming

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