Sexual abuse is the involvement of people in sexual activities which:
- they do not understand
- they have not given consent to, or
- violate the sexual taboos of the individual, family customs or usual practices.
It can include the involvement of people in sexual activities where one party is in a position of trust, power or authority.
Examples of sexual abuse
- touching or being forced to touch another person in a sexual manner
- being forced to watch pornography
- being taken to adult entertainment without the full understanding of what this may involve and not being allowed to leave on request
- being subject to sexual innuendoes and harassment
- not having a choice about a care worker of the same sex to undertake intimate personal care
Indicators of sexual abuse
- over sexualised behaviour or language or the use of sexualised behaviour or language where not previously used
- pain, itching or injury in the anal, genital or abdominal area
- difficulty in walking or sitting due to discomfort in genital area
- bruises or bleeding in external genitalia
- torn, stained or bloody underclothing
- venereal disease or recurrent bouts of cystitis
- self-inflicted injury
- disturbed sleep patterns
- changes in usual behaviours, routines, appearance or dress.