Sexual Abuse can be either Contact or Non-Contact…
Sexual Abuse Types
Sexual abuse can be either ‘contact’ or ‘non-contact’ – how can that be? Given that the really abusive and most lasting part of any abuse is the emotional effect of the abuse, it’s easier to imagine how sexual abuse can be both contact and non-contact.
Can you think of several forms of each type of sexual abuse?
Touching with the hand, mouth or other body part of the victim’s body by the abuser
Touching of private parts of the body with something other than the abuser’s hand
Rubbing up against the victim in a sexual way
Forcing the victim to touch the abuser’s genitals, with hands, mouth or other body part
Forced sexual intercourse
Forced anal intercourse
Forcing the victim to watch sexual acts
Forcing the victim to perform sexual acts whilst being watched by the abuser
Forcing the victim to listen to threats and/or sexual details
There are many examples of both contact and non-contact sexual abuse and whilst this may not be a pleasant topic of conversation, abusers rely on silence and ignorance. The more we talk about these things and the more we educate ourselves and our children, the less likely we are to be victims.
Victims can be male or female…
And abusers can be male or female too.
Definition and detailed information
The definition of sexual abuse with children is when an older child, a youth or an adult uses a child or youth for his or her own sexual gratification. This includes incest. Incest with children is when the child is sexually violated by a parent, parent figure, older sibling, other relative, or other significant person in the child’s family life.
FACT: Most alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse were either “other” relatives (44% of the cases) or non-relatives (29%). Notably, very few substantiated cases involved a stranger (2%) (Trocme & Wolfe, 2001, pp.20-211).
FACT: Of sexual assaults on children/youth by their family members reported to Canadian police in 2000, 39% of the perpetrators were parents, 32% were siblings, 28% were members of the extended family, and 1% were spouses (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 20022).
FACT: Alleged perpetrators were equally likely to be a biological father or stepfather (Trocme & Wolfe, 2001, p.203).
FACT: In 7% of substantiated cases of child sexual abuse, the alleged perpetrators were baby-sitters (Trocme & Wolfe, 2001, p.214).
Under the definition of sexual abuse there are two categories: non-contact and contact.
Definition of Sexual Abuse: Non-Contact
forced to watch sexual acts
forced to listen to sexual talk, including comments, tapes, and obscene phone calls
sexually explicit material such as videos, DVDs, magazines, photographs, etc.; can be in-person, on the computer via e-mails, and otherwise through the Internet
forced to look at sexual parts of the body–includes buttocks, anus, genital area (vulva, vagina, penis, scrotum), breasts, and mouth
FACT: An adult exposing genitals to a child accounted for 12% of substantiated abuse cases (Trocme & Wolfe, 2001, p.135).
sexually intrusive questions or comments; can be verbal, on the computer, or in notes
Definition of Sexual Abuse: Contact
being touched and fondled in sexual areas, including kissing
FACT: Touching and fondling of the genitals was the most common form of substantiated abuse cases–69% of the cases (Trocme & Wolfe, 2001, p.136).
forcing a child or youth to touch another person’s sexual areas
forced oral sex–oral sex is when the mouth comes in contact with the penis, the vagina or the anus; many children believe that oral sex is “talking dirty”
forced intercourse–can be vaginally, anally or orally; penetration must occur; penetration can be with body parts and/or objects (the most common body parts used are the fingers, tongue and penis)
FACT: Attempted and completed intercourse accounted for 35% of substantiated abuse cases (Trocme & Wolfe, 2001, p.137).
To my Canadian visitors: The word “rape” is no longer a term used in Canadian law. The Canada Criminal Code now uses the term “Sexual Assault”–it has a broader meaning and encompasses all aspects of the definition of sexual abuse.