CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE SERIES PART 1:
WHAT CONSTITUTES SEXUAL ABUSE?
Who is a child: According to the Nigerian constitution, a child is any human being that is 18years old and below.
Child sexual abuse can be defined as when a child is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activity. It doesn’t have to be a physical contact (contact abuse), it can also occur online (non-contact abuse)
We know that children pass through different stages of development as they grow and their awareness and curiosity about sexual matters change as they pass from infancy into childhood and then through puberty to adolescence.
While people from different backgrounds have different expectations about what is acceptable behavior in children, child sexual abuse does occur across all races and culture.
It can occur between an adult and a child, between an older child and a younger child or even amongst younger children.
Child sexual abuse would include;
1. Contact abuse. This involves touching activities where the abuser makes physical contact with the child.
• touching any part of the body of a child whether the child is wearing cloth or not for sexual pleasure.
• making a child touch someone else’s genitalia, or his or her own genitalia
• rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a child’s mouth vagina or anus,
2. Non-contact abuse. Involves non touching activities by grooming, exploitation or persuasion of a child to perform sexual acts over the internet.
Encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts.
• deliberately exposing adult genitalia to a child.
• Online abuse including making, viewing or distributing child abuse images.
• Photographing a child in sexual poses.
• showing pornography to a child.
• inappropriate watching a child undress or use a bathroom.
• not taking proper measures to protect a child being exposed to sexual activates by others.
• sexually exploiting a child for money, power or status.
• meeting a child following sexual grooming with intent of abuse.
Watch out for part2 which deals with the warning signs to look out for in a sexually abused child.