Sexual abuse is any situation in which force is used to obtain participation in unwanted sexual activity. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom consensual sex has occurred, is an act of aggression and violence.
Categories of sexual abuse include:
- Use of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, whether or not the act is completed;
- Attempted or completed sex act involving a person who is unable to understand the nature or condition of the act, unable to decline participation, or unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act, e.g., because of underage immaturity, illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or because of intimidation or pressure.
- Sexual Abuse of children or adults includes any sort of unwanted sexual contact perpetrated on a victim by an abuser. Molestation, incest, inappropriate touching (with or without intercourse), and partner or date rape are all instances of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse also occurs if one partner has agreed to a certain level of sexual activity and another level is forced upon her (or him) without prior explicit consent being given.
- Sexual abuse is often coupled with physical abuse (or threat of physical abuse) and emotional abuse. For instance, paedophile child molesters will often threaten harm to their victims or to someone or something their victim cares about in order to compel that victim’s silence about the sexual abuse or to convince the victim that he or she “asked for it” in some way.
Though difficult to detect drugs like Rohypnol (known as “Ruffies” on the street) may be put into the drinks of date rape victims (a form of physical abuse) to make them pliable and easy to rape.