“We must call sexual abuse by its real name. Abuse is not limited to just rape or molestation. Here is an official definition from a reputable Christian book on the topic:
“Sexual abuse is any contact or interaction (visual, verbal, or psychological) between a child/adolescent and an adult (or older teen) when the child/adolescent is used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or another person.” (Dan Allender, The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse)
Let’s face it: the term sexual abuse is loaded and ugly. So often people try to mislabel abuse as “inappropriate behavior” or an “indiscretion” or “immorality” to help remove its stigma. But renaming something just confuses the issue at hand and prevents us from dealing with the reality of its dangers. Children and youth who have been damaged by abuse—even if the abuse seems “minor” to us—will often live their lives through the lens of that experience; and frequently make poor relationship and spiritual choices as they mature. They need our help for recovery.” To read the entire article, go here…..
Another great resource for becoming more informed about sexual predators, which is who typically commits sexual abuse of children, is this book, Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders by Anna Salter. It is a painful read and if you have experienced sexual abuse, be warned. I would like to see this book in the hands of every parent.