Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is the forcing of undesired sexual behaviour by one person upon another. When that force is immediate, of short duration, or infrequent, it is called sexual assault. The offender is referred to as a sexual abuser or (often pejoratively) molester. The term also covers anybehaviour by any adult towards a child to stimulate either the adult or child sexually. When the victim is younger than the age of consent, it is referred to as child sexual abuse
There are many types of sexual abuse, including:
- Non-consensual, forced physical sexual behavior (rape and sexual assault).
Unwanted touching, either of a child or an adult.
- Sexual kissing, fondling, exposure of genitalia, and voyeurism, exhibitionism and up to sexual assault.
Exposing a child to pornography.
- Saying sexually suggestive statements towards a child (child molestation).
Also applies to non-consensual verbal sexual demands towards an adult.
- The use of a position of trust to compel otherwise unwanted sexual activity without physical force (or can lead to attempted rape or sexual assault).
- Incest (see also sexual deviancy).
- Certain forms of sexual harassment.
1. “Peer commentaries on Green (2002) and Schmidt (2002)”. Archives of Sexual Behaviour 31. 2002. “Child molester is a pejorative term applied to both the paedophile and incest offender.”