SEXUAL ASSAULT / ABUSE
Sexual abuse includes any form of unwanted or forced sexual contact or behavior. It is often present in cases of domestic and relationship violence. It includes:
- Forced nudity
- Fondling, groping or other unwanted touching in a sexual manner
- Exposing / flashing
- Forced drug or alcohol use to encourage or enhance sexual activity
- Forced domination, bondage, submission, use of weapons, sexual aides, tools or objects
- Forced painful, uncomfortable, unwanted activity during sex
- Mutilation of genitalia
There are also verbal, emotional and psychological violations, such as:
- derogatory references one’s sexual anatomy, blatantly or in jest
- sexual objectification
- emanding intimacy in a negative or inharmonious environment
- enabling addiction in order to enhance or create the desire for sex
- pushing for intimacy when the victim is ill or otherwise unwilling
- bragging or complaining about sex with the victim to others
- blaming or ridiculing the victim to others for his/her their lack of desire for intimacy
- guilting the victim into having sex
- uploading nude or sexually suggestive photos or videos of the victim on the internet ; revenge porn
- attaching support or generosity to sex (paying for rent/bills/dinner = an entitlement to sex)
- using your religious/spiritual faith to coerce/force sexual activity
Other facts about sexual abuse:
- It is a form of physical abuse. It can also be a form of emotional and psychological abuse as well as social abuse.
- The perpetrator can be stranger, family member, spouse, intimate partner or another person known to the victim.
- It does not have to occur every day. It does not have to occur often. It need only can happen once.
- It does not have to leave visible cuts, bruises, swelling or injury or require medical treatment.
- It is against the law.
There are emotional and psychological effects from sexual abuse that include withdrawal, anxiety, substance abuse, depression and suicide. There are physical consequences such as headaches, ulcers, gastric disturbances, weight gain, weight loss and poor nutrition.
Abuse is never acceptable, in any form. If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, contact a coalition in your state or any of these organizations that may apply to your situation:
The National Domestic Violence Helpline 800-799-SAFE (7233)
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 866-331-9474
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)
ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)