What is Sexual Abuse?


photograph by Aviva Rowley. ©

Before you read on, the most important thing to remember if you are going to heal from sexual abuse is that you had no choice. You believed that there was nobody there to protect you, and you felt there was no way out.

Sexual abuse is when you do not want sexual contact and it is forced on you. It is when anyone--it could be an acquaintance, a friend or stranger, or even a relative-- acts toward you in an unwanted sexual manner. Usually there is physical contact during sexual abuse, but not always. For example if your father insists on examining your physical development, constantly commenting on your body in a sexual way, this is a type of sexual abuse. It is also considered sexual abuse if you are forced to view any pornographic material. Some forms of sexual abuse are acquaintance, date, or stranger rape. Of course incest is sexual abuse even when it is coming from a step relative. Sex abuse ranges from an unwanted kiss or touch all the way to intercourse.

In other words, sex abuse is any unwanted sexual encounter. It is always the abuser's fault, never under any circumstances is sex abuse the survivor's fault!

"The little girl was born then died, the moment he took her inside" ............written by a 16 year old sexual abuse survivor.

All the quotes throughout the website are real and are from girls and women Dr. Patti has worked with.