What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is any sexual behavior that is forced, coerced, or manipulated. It overlaps with the other types of abuse, because it can be physical (such as forced sex), verbal (such as sexual threats), or emotional (such as using sexual behavior to humiliate someone).

Examples of sexual abuse:

  • Threatening to break up with your partner if they refuse sexual acts
  • Threatening to hurt the other person or someone they care about if they refuse sexual acts
  • Lying to or manipulating someone to get them to agree to sexual behavior
  • Ripping or tearing at someone’s clothes
  • Unwanted grabbing or touching of someone’s rear end, breasts, or genital areas
  • Forcing someone to take off their clothes
  • Physically forcing someone into any kind of sexual behavior – even when they have agreed to one form of sex but not the other
  • Sex while one person is too drunk or high to make a sound decision about sex
  • Forcing someone into sexual acts with a third person
  • Forcing someone to watch sex between others
  • Taking pictures or videos of someone undressing or involved in sexual behavior without the person’s consent
  • Any sexual activity between an adult and child or a child and a much younger child
  • Rape with an object
  • Sex that hurts
  • Withholding sex as a way of manipulating someone into doing what you want
  • Making partner dress in a sexier way or less sexy way
  • Sexual harassment

Know the signs. Are you being sexually abused? Are you abusing?

Info copyright 2001 Wellness Reproduction and Publishing LLC

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