Sexual Abuse and Incest

What are Child Sexual Abuse and Incest?

Child sexual abuse is any sexual act performed with a child by an adult or older child, with or without force or the threat of force. Child sexual abuse is most commonly committed by someone known to the child, including family members. In this case, the act may be considered incest. Incest is overt and/or covert sexual contact or acts between people who are related genetically, by marriage, by living arrangements, or in whom a child perceives a trusting relationship, for example parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, step-parents, foster parents. Incest is one of the most common forms of child sexual abuse. It may start as seemingly innocent touching and progress to more serious acts. It can continue for years. Other individuals who may commit child sexual abuse include neighbors, family friends, baby sitters, religious leaders, youth group leaders, or others with a power advantage of any kind over the child. Child sexual abuse may also be committed by a stranger. The acts can include: touching or non-touching, verbal seduction or abuse, anal or vaginal intercourse, oral sex, sodomy, manual stimulation, direct threats, implied threats, or other forms of abuse.

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