Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

For more information on recognizing, preventing, and intervening when it comes to child sexual abuse, please visit The Enough Abuse Campaign.

Sexual Abuse and Exploitation—California Penal Code Section 11165.1

Sexual abuse is defined as sexual assault or sexual exploitation of a minor, it includes but limited to the following:

  • Rape
  • Statutory Rape
  • Gang Rape (Rape in Concert)
  • Incest
  • Sodomy
  • Oral Copulation
  • Lewd and Lascivious Acts
  • Child Molestation
  • Penetration of the genital or anal opening, no matter how slight, by any object or body part whether or not there is the emission of semen. This does not include acts performed for a valid medical reason.
  • Sexual contact between the genitals or anal opening of one person and the mouth or tongue of another person.
  • Touching of genitals or intimate body parts or the clothing covering them for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. This does not include acts which are normal caretaker responsibilities or for a valid medical purpose.
  • Masturbation in the presence of a child.
  • Preparing, selling or distributing child pornography.
  • Child prostitution or a live performance involving obscene sexual conduct with a child.

Sexual Abuse and Exploitation—Federal Guidelines

  • The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.
  • The rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.

General Indicators of Sexual Abuse

  • Child reports abuse - this is a big, bold, scary step for the child to take in breaking out of the “conspiracy of silence” and should be taken very seriously.
  • Sexualized behavior, curiosity, or knowledge inappropriate for age
  • Torn, stained or bloody undergarments
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Genital discharge or infection
  • Trauma or injury to genital or anal area
  • Difficulty in walking, sitting urination or defecation due to genital or anal pain
  • Excessive/compulsive masturbation
  • In boys, excessive concern about homosexuality or homophobia
  • Sexual victimization of other children
  • Self-destructive behavior or suicide threats
  • Withdrawal or depression
  • Sudden acquisition of money, clothes or gifts
  • Animal abuse
  • Fire setting

Indicators in Younger Children

  • Bed and pants wetting or fecal soiling
  • Eating disturbances
  • Unusual fears or phobias
  • Overly compulsive behavior
  • Change in school performance
  • Pseudo-maturity or regressive behavior
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Frightened of caretaker or of going home

Indicators in Older Children and Teens

  • Chronic fatigue, depression or apathy
  • Excessive bathing
  • Purposefully making themselves unattractive through poor hygiene
  • Poor peer relations and social skills
  • Overly compliant, aggressive, antisocial or delinquent behavior
  • Running away
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Prostitution or promiscuity
  • Inappropriately seductive behavior
  • Unusual fear of pelvic exams
  • Drop in school performance
  • Chronic absence or tardiness
  • Arrives early at school and stays late to avoid being home
  • Refusal to dress for P.E.
  • Non-participation in activities
  • Fearful of showers or restrooms
  • Fearful of home life
  • Fearful of males
  • Overly self-conscience of body
  • Crying without provocation
  • Fire setting
  • Eating disorders
  • Early marriage to avoid abusive situation

Behaviors that MAY be seen in a Sexually Abusive Person

  • Drug or alcohol abuse or other addictive behavior
  • Mood changes
  • Last to go to bed, or up during the night
  • Sexual preoccupation
  • Views child pornography
  • Cruising
  • Exhibitionism
  • Seeks out relationships with children over adults
  • Erratic discipline
  • Prolonging physical contact with children…wrestling, tickling, bathing
  • Walks in on child while bathing or using the toilet
  • Interferes with child’s normal friendships
  • Relates to the child with sexual undertones or manner

Why does the non-abusing parent often look the other way?

  • They maybe in denial that their partner is capable of doing such a thing
  • They may have been sexually abused as a child
  • They may fear the loss of their partner or financial stability
  • They may fear reprisal from partner for confronting the situation