What Is Sexual Abuse And Sexual Assault?

The term “sexual abuse” is an all-encompassing term. Although the specific definition varies by state, it generally refers to crimes involving sexual behavior by one person towards another without their consent. This includes inappropriate touching, sexual assault, and rape. It can also include sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, voyeurism, or being photographed or video-recorded without consent.

Types Of Sexual Abuse And Sexual Assault

Sexual abuse and sexual assault can take many forms and abusers can be anyone. In many cases, the survivor knows the perpetrator and the abuse takes place in a trusted location. No matter who, where, or how, sexual abuse is never the survivor’s fault.

In some cases, the abuse may be more subtle. Sometimes the abuser grooms their victim into thinking the abuse is not truly abuse. Types of sexual abuse include:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Lewd acts
  • Sexual harassment
  • Stalking
  • Unconsented touching
  • Molestation
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual abuse by medical professionals
  • Sexual exploitation by therapists
  • Sexual abuse of people with disabilities
  • Elder sexual abuse
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Revenge porn
  • Solicitation of minors through internet
  • Trafficking
  • Intimate partner sexual violence
  • Drug facilitated sexual assault
  • Statutory rape

Common places sexual abuse occurs and common perpetrators include:

  • Colleges, universities, and schools
  • Teachers and professors
  • Clergy and religious institutions
  • Daycares, summer camps, and babysitters
  • Medical providers, hospitals, and nursing facilities
  • Youth organizations and sports teams
  • Inmates and correction officers
  • Property owners
  • Supervisors and coworkers
  • Workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault

This list is not comprehensive. Any type of sexual behavior sexual behavior by one person towards another without their consent constitutes sexual abuse. Anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse. All victims deserve justice.

Learn about the signs of Child Abuse

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