Sexual abuse is any sexual behavior or a sexual act forced upon a woman, child, or man without their consent. Sexual abuse is an act of violence, often the attacker uses force against someone they perceive as weaker than them to gratify their perverted desires.
Sexual abuse is also molestation and inappropriate touching, which should be considered as serious as rape.
If a husband desires sex and his wife says “No,” if he then forces her to have sex, this is rape. If the woman continuously says no, it is more civilized to divorce her and find someone more compatible than to sexually abuse and rape her.
Any kind of sexual conduct towards a minor (pre-puberty or between the age of birth to 16 years) is sexual abuse, pedophile abuse is the most damaging and is also emotional, mental, and psychological abuse.
Signs that a child is being sexually abused may include:
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Pain, itching, bleeding, bruising, or unusual discharge to the genital area or anus
- Urinary infections or sexually transmitted infections
- Persistent sore throats
- Refusing to change for PE or participate in physical activities
- Avoids or is afraid of being left alone with people or a specific person
- Exhibits an inappropriate knowledge of sex for their age
- Uses inappropriate sexual language
- Exhibits sexualized behavior in their play or with other children
- Changes in eating habits or developing eating disorders
- Lack of peer relationships
- Sleep disturbances or nightmares
- Refusing to go to school
- Running away from home
- Alcohol or drug use
- Self-harm or attempts at suicide
If a child is being sexually abused online, they may exhibit the following behavior:
- Spending more time than usual online, texting, or gaming
- Seeming distant, upset, or angry after using the internet or texting
- Being secretive about what they are doing online or who they are talking to
- Having lots of new phone numbers, texts, or messages
Sexual abuse against minors needs to be stamped right out, but it requires keen observation and action from those in a position to intervene.
If you’ve been sexually assaulted it’s important to remember that it was not your fault. No one has the right to just take what they want from you, Sexual violence is a serious crime no matter the circumstances or situation. Don’t be afraid to contact authorities.
There are services that provide help if you’ve been raped, sexually assaulted, or abused. You don’t have to report the assault to the police if you don’t want to. You may need time to think about what has happened to you. However, keep in mind evidence is vital, you do not want to be in a situation where it is your word versus theirs, visit a hospital a.s.a.p and explain your situation.
Get medical help as soon as possible for any injuries because you may be at risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you want the crime to be investigated, the sooner a forensic medical examination takes place, the better.
Don’t wash or change your clothes immediately after a sexual assault. This can destroy important forensic evidence that could be useful to police should you decide to report the assault.
Advice for women to avoid being raped.
On the Street
- Travel in well-lit, well-traveled areas.
- If possible, walk in pairs.
- Walk facing traffic.
- Plan your route ahead of time.
- Know your neighborhood – be aware of nearby businesses, their hours of operation and their locations.
- Avoid shortcuts, bushy areas, and alleyways.
- Dress for ease of movement.
- If possible, don’t carry a purse.
- Don’t burden yourself with bulky packages or belongings.
- Walk assertively and maintain a sharp awareness of your surroundings.
- If you sense you are being followed, immediately cross to the opposite side of the street and head for the nearest open business or occupied dwelling.
- When seeking help from the occupant of a residence, yell fire as opposed to help, rape, or murder, and use any means necessary to draw attention to the situation.
In the Home
- Install good locks on doors and windows and use them.
- Only put your last name on your mailbox, or consider inventing roommates.
- If you choose to list your phone number, only list your first initial and last name. Never include your address in the telephone book.
- Install an eye-viewer on your door.
- Never automatically open your door without knowing who is on the other side. Talk through the door.
- Don’t rely on chain latches and screen doors for security as they are no barrier to intruders.
- Instruct your children in safe door and telephone techniques.
- Don’t answer questions asked over the telephone.
- Ask for identification from service people. If still not satisfied, call the business and verify that the visit is a legitimate one.
- Have someone present whenever a man is going to be performing a service in your home.
In Your Vehicle
- Have your keys in your hand when going to and from your vehicle.
- Lock the doors and roll up the windows whenever you leave your vehicle.
- Keep the doors and windows locked whenever you are in your vehicle.
- Prior to entering your vehicle, always check both under the car and behind the front seat.
- Park in well-lit, well-populated areas.
- Be aware of your surroundings as you walk through parking lots – suspects often hide between parked cars.
- If your car breaks down, raise the hood and turn on the emergency flashers. Remain in your locked car until help arrives. If someone stops to offer assistance, ask them to send a tow truck or to contact local law enforcement. Talk through the window.
- If you are being followed, don’t turn into your own driveway. Head for the nearest populated area or open business.
In a Social Situation
- When first meeting a new friend, exchange phone numbers, not addresses.
- Keep someone apprised of your whereabouts when dating a man for the first time.
- It is a good idea to refrain from going to bars and clubs alone. However, should you choose to do so, have your own transportation available, and use it.
- Don’t allow alcohol or drugs to cloud your common sense.
- If a man persists in asking for your phone number, and you feel it would cause a problem should you refuse, give him a phony number (i.e., a recorded message).
- Know what your personal social standards are and stick to them. Don’t allow your judgment to be overruled by an aggressive pursuer.
ADDITIONAL SAFETY TIPS
- Don’t enter elevators with a lone man. If you do end up alone with a man, stand next to the buttons and push them all if attacked.
- When at the bank, don’t discard deposit slips in the available receptacle – they contain information (i.e., name and address) that you would not want to fall into the hands of strangers.
- Consider printing your work phone number as opposed to your home phone number on checks.
SELF-DEFENSE – PASSIVE OR ACTIVE
For years a certain amount of controversy has surrounded the issue of whether or not a woman should resist a sexual assault. Studies support points of view ranging from strong resistance to total submission. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to self-defense. Ultimately, the decision rests with the individual and should be based on considerations such as the location (isolated vs. populated), whether or not a weapon is involved, the victim’s physical capabilities, and the perceived chance of success.
- Talking your way out of a situation.
- Telling the rapist you’re pregnant, menstruating, or afflicted with a communicable disease can be an effective ploy.
- Faking submission and waiting for an appropriate opportunity to make an escape.
- Urinating, defecating, or vomiting.
- NOTE: Initiating a passive defense may not work in all situations. If it fails, you can then escalate to an active defense.
- If you choose to fight, fight effectively. A half-hearted attempt at resistance could be worse than no resistance at all.
- Before initiating a physical defense, you should be aware of your capabilities – both physical and mental. If you cannot imagine yourself exerting whatever force necessary to ward off an attacker, then perhaps a more passive approach is more viable for you.
- Have some idea of what you intend to do should you be attacked. If you have given prior thought to the matter, you will be better prepared to avoid debilitating panic.
- Self-defense classes aimed at teaching everyday defensive maneuvers can help build confidence.
- Don’t underestimate the power of your voice as an effective defensive tool. If you feel your voice may fail you when you need it most, practice screaming.
- Whistle: A good attention-getting device. However, whistles can be difficult to blow when breathless or frightened. Should you carry a whistle, never wear it on a string around your neck or wrist.
- Shrill Alarm: Another good-attention-getting device. Shrill alarms are compressed air or gas and emit a shrill piercing sound.
- Mace: A chemical irritant that causes burning and irritation of the eyes, nose, and skin. Mace will not permanently incapacitate an attacker. It is primarily useful as a temporary diversion. Because mace is considered a non-lethal weapon, you must attend a class and obtain a permit in order to legally purchase and carry mace. While mace can be an effective defensive device, it does not work in all situations. Mace has little or no effect on individuals who are seriously intoxicated, under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs, or who have a condition that affects the nerve endings. If used on a windy day or in an enclosed area, mace could affect not only the suspect but the victim as well. NOTE: For these devices to be useful, they must be immediately accessible should you be attacked. If left in trunks, desk drawers, or buried at the bottom of a purse, they will not help you in an emergency.
This section of the article “safety on the streets” was taken from the city of Sacramento Police Department’s website.
If you acknowledge you have sexually abusive tendencies and you want to change, Merge counseling has over 20 years of successful experience in helping abusers understand why they have become abusive people, and you can heal, you can change this behavior. Contact Merge counseling today.