JUST WHAT IS SEXUAL ABUSE?
“Sexual abuse” includes every type of contact or interaction that is intended to sexually stimulate the predator – or any third party. Inappropriate touching or fondling can be sexual abuse, as can be any forced or unwanted oral contact, penetration, display of body parts, child pornography, sexual hazing, or lewd harassment.
Victims of sexual abuse can be children or adults, girls or boys, men or women. Sexual abusers can be male or female, teachers, coaches, clergymen, supervisors, coworkers, day care providers, doctors, therapists, and more. Sexual abusers can even be other children, classmates, and teammates.
Underage children cannot legally “consent” to any type of sexual contact or activity. If an adult has any type of sexual contact with a minor, it is sexual abuse.
Victims of sexual abuse or molestation may report the abuse immediately, or they may hide it for years. Sometimes victims, especially those abused as children, don’t have the courage or the strength to come forward until years later. Other times, victims suppress the trauma of the experience and don’t even recall their abuse until years after it occurred. Either way, the law protects you. Whenever the abuse surfaces, victims and their families should deal with it promptly and contact a sexual molestation attorney to represent them right away.