Sexual abusive behavior can be seen on a continuum from mutually agreed experimentation to very serious crimes such as stalking and multiple rape.Many children engage in activities that form a normal part of their sexual development. Much of this behavior is not abusive and forms an important and necessary part of the learning process. Other types of behavior are harmful and not appropriate and fall under Sexual Abusive Behavior.
Defining what sexual behavior is appropriate and what is harmful can be difficult. Most definitions acknowledge that sexual abuse is bound up with concepts of consent, power and exploitation and define sexual abuse as meaning that force or coercion has been used upon another child to ensure participation. Sexual Abusive Behavior involves coercion, age inappropriate sexual behavior, and partners who are not peers.
Some acts are clearly abusive, e.g. for an adolescent to have intercourse with a seven year old. The issue of whether an action is abusive becomes less clear as the age gap narrows and the sexual acts become less physically intrusive. A young child can abuse an older child if the older one is disempowered because of disability or some other power differential. There are also examples of young people who have sexually abused adults.
There are various legal definitions of what constitutes a sexual offense as well as differences in the age of criminal responsibility. However, a legal definition does not apply to children below the age of criminal responsibility. Understanding the differences between what is sexually abusive behavior and what is age-appropriate sexual behavior can be challenging for professionals and caregivers alike. Parets and those who come into contact with youth need to understand and be able to differentiate between the two. Furthermore, there is childhood sexual behavior which parents may not approve of but which falls under the definition of sexual play rather than sexually abusive behavior. An experienced professional is needed to recognize, evaluate and treat these issues.
Professional Sexually Abusive Behavior Counseling can help your child:
Sexually Abusive Behavior Counseling incorporates a comprehensive strategy designed to engage a young person to stop their sexually abusive behaviors and manage any further motivation to reoffend. Treatment is often undertaken at the behest of child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems, and Mr. Attryde is experienced in helping children and their families navigate these systems effectively.
When to seek Sexually Abusive Behavior Counseling
If you’re concerned about your child’s sexually abusive behavior or your own ability to parent a challenging child, help is available. Mr. Attryde has considerable experience and expertise in treating sexual abuse issues in children and adults. You are invited to contact us to set up a free consultation to learn the evaluation and treatment options available for you or your child.