Defining Sexual Abuse: Have You Been a Victim?

advocates-for-child-sexual-abuse-in-new-jerseyWhen Jerry Sandusky walked into those locker room showers, he crossed a very fine line. Luckily, the victims of Sandusky’s crimes came forward and revealed these heinous acts.  All too often, the victims of similar crimes remain silent and the abusers continue to go about their business in society unpunished.

Victims remain silent for a myriad of different reasons.  They may be embarrassed.  They may be trying to protect someone.  Or, they may not even know what happened was actually considered sexual abuse.  And it’s for that reason that we want to help educate the members of our community.

Below are the most common types of sexual abuse:

Child Sexual Abuse

This is the sexual abuse of children by adults or by older children who dominate and control through sexual activity.

Incest

Incest is the most common form of child sexual abuse.  The abuser can be the mother, father, step-parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

Molestation

This is sexual abuse involving stimulation to body and genital areas, including penetration.  This can happen at any age, by a perpetrator of any age.

Rape

Rape is a broad term that can include the violent sexual attack of a stranger, an acquaintance, or even a spouse.  In the case of marital or date rape, the act doesn’t have to necessarily be violent.

Exhibitionism or Exposure

Exhibitionism or exposure is the displaying of naked body parts in an effort to shock, intimidate, or sexually arouse a victim.

Voyeurism

Voyeurism is the invasion of a victim’s privacy either secretively or openly with the intent of gaining sexual gratification.

Obscene Phone Calls

This is the invasion of a victim’s privacy with sexually suggestive messages over the telephone in an effort to shock, intimidate, or sexually arouse a victim.

Sadistic Sexual Abuse

In sadistic sexual abuse, the offender incites or tries to incite dread, horror, or pain in the victim as a means of increasing the offender’s sexual arousal during abuse.  This may involve the use of physical restraint, quasi-religious rituals, animals, or foreign objects.

Sexual Exploitation

This is the objectification and use of victims by means of sexual activity or photographic imagery to gain money or sexual gratification.

Undoubtedly sexual abuse rears its ugly head outside the walls of locker rooms and rectories.  It happens every day in a wide range of settings.  If you think you’ve been a victim, we’d like to help.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll let you know if you have a case and what we can do for you.

DO I HAVE A CASE ?

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