Sexual abuse is any form of sexual violence, including rape, child molestation, obscenity, and similar forms of unprotected sex. Most sexual harassment experts agree that sexual harassment is not just about sex. Instead, it is often an attempt to gain power over others.
Immediate crisis help after sexual abuse can prove to be invaluable and even save lives. A person can report sexual assault by calling the local police. Survivors may also want a physical examination at the hospital.
Treatment can also be helpful for people who have had sexual harassment in the past. Some therapists specialize in treating the trauma of sexual abuse. Long-term care can be helpful for some survivors of sexual abuse.
Sexual violence is common, especially for women and girls. 90% of all rapes involve women. One in six women in the US has been raped. 20 percent of girls and 5 percent of boys experience child sexual abuse.
Sexual assault and sexual harassment are common terms used to refer to various crimes. These offenses include:
Rape: Forced sexual intercourse with a person who does not give consent or cannot. Coercion to have sex with someone who does not want it, is drunk, or is not old enough to consent is considered rape. Dating rape is sexual violence that occurs between people in a relationship. Several countries limit their definition of rape to forced sexual intercourse. However, any form of forced sexual contact can have long term consequences for a person. Most states now recognize forced oral sex and similar forms of abuse as rape.
Child Harassment: Child molestation is any sexual contact with a child. Children who are attacked are too young to know what is happening and cannot fight back. In these cases, some rapists use the cooperation of children as “proof” that no one has been harmed. Examples of child sexual abuse may include loving a child or seeking sexual favors.
Incest: Incest describes sexual contact between family members closely related to marriage. Although incestuous sexual activity can occur between consenting adults, it is not common. The most reported incest occurs as child abuse.
Sexual intercourse without consent: this category includes any unwanted sexual intercourse, such as touching or hugging. Attempted rape may fall into this category.
Contactless sexual violence: Not all sexual violence is in line with general legal or psychological definitions. For example, it is sexual abuse for a parent to have sex in front of a child or to say something sexually inappropriate to a child. So-called revenge porn sites that post nude photos without consent are another form of sexual harassment.
Laws on sexual violence are constantly changing. For this reason most professionals working with victims of sexual harassment rely on individual feelings. Instead of the law to determine whether sexual harassment occurred or not Marital rape, for example, can be very traumatic, especially in a violent relationship. However, spousal rape did not become a crime anywhere until the 1970s. It remains a difficult crime to prosecute.
Sexual violence occurs in large numbers in the US military According report:
Nearly 5% of all women and 1% of active-duty men reported experiencing unwanted sexual contactAlmost half of the reports received by women were related to sexual harassment (rape or piercing with objects). This percentage is 35% for men.
Due to gender relations in the military, men experience sexual violence more often than women.
Most perpetrators commit these crimes out of a desire to dominate. Authors often want to set a check on “without them”. Sexual attraction is rarely the motivating factor.
A man in uniform shakes hands while talking to an invisible person. Sexual violence between servers is an underreported crime. Research shows that only a quarter of victims of military sexual assault report the attack. Among male survivors, approximately 81% never report their attacks.
People who report their attacks often face retaliation. In 2014, 62% of journalists said they were facing reprisals. Many have been avoided by colleagues or accused of assault. Survivors of both sexes may experience consequences in their professional lives. Some were even discharged from the military.
Journalists may also face barriers to mental health care. Research indicates that the military has misdiagnosed many journalists who sexually assault journalists with personality disorders as an excuse to fire them. The Department of Veterans Affairs classifies personality disorders as an existing condition. Thus, the cost of mental health care for survivors is rarely covered.
Male victims of sexual violence may face significant stigma. American culture promotes the stereotype that men always want sex. Many people believe that men cannot be victims of rape.
When men report sexual harassment, they often face suspicion and ridicule. Others may blame the abuse on a man’s “weakness” or his alleged homosexuality. Blaming the victim is very likely when a man accuses a woman of sexual harassment.
Due to stigma, male survivors may be reluctant to describe their experiences as rape or abuse. Some may not even mention the event at all. However, men who are reluctant to disclose information may not seek treatment. Without professional help, some men resort to substance abuse or self-harm to cope with the trauma.
Survivors often report feelings such as shame, terror, and guilt or blame themselves for the assault.
Survivors may be at risk for mental health conditions due to trauma. Survivors of sexual abuse may develop:
Posttraumatic stress (PTSD)