Child sexual abuse is any sexual activity between a child and a person in a position of trust or authority. Some examples are: exposing genitals, genital fondling, inviting sexual touching, showing a child pornography, masturbating in front of a child, oral sex and sexual intercourse.
A person in a position of trust or authority could be a parent, step-parent, brother, sister, grandparent, uncle, neighbour, coach, teacher, babysitter or family friend.
Other behaviours (eg. sexually suggestive talk or looks) may not be against the law but are sexually abusive.
Young people under 18 cannot legally consent to sexual activity if the other person is in a position of trust or authority. Young people under 14 cannot consent to sexual activity except in certain situations with their peers. Children under 12 are never considered able to consent to sexual activity.
Remember sexual activity without consent is a crime at any age.
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse often keep the abuse a secret even in their adult years. Abusers count on this. Keeping silent protects him/her, but not YOU. Many survivors find that telling someone they trust decreases their shame and increases their feeling of control over their lives.
Do You Ever Think…..?
“There was no intercourse so it was not really abuse.”
During the sexual activity he took control over what happened to you and your body. Taking control over someone is the basis of all abuse. If you felt confused, scared, helpless, sad and/or angry the sexual activity was abusive.