Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is usually self abuse sex sexual behavior by one person upon another. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another. Spousal sexual abuse is a form of domestic violence.
When the abuse involves threats of unwanted sexual contact or forced sex by a woman’s husband or ex-husband, it may constitute rape, depending on the jurisdiction, and may also constitute an assault. Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which a child is abused for the sexual gratification of an adult or older adolescent. Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest, and results in more serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest. The gender gap may be caused by higher victimization of girls, lower willingness of men to disclose abuse, or both. People with developmental disabilities are often victims of sexual abuse.
Elderly people, especially those with dementia, can be at risk of abuse. There were over 6,000 “safeguarding concerns and alerts” at UK care homes from 2013 to 2015. These included alleged inappropriate touching and worse allegations. Offenders were most often other residents but staff also offended.
It is suspected some care homes may deliberately overlook these offenses. Sometimes abuse victims are not believed because they are not seen as credible witnesses due to their dementia. Perpetrators frequently target victims who they know are unlikely to be believed. Spouses and partners sometimes continue to pursue sexual relations, without realising they no longer have this right, because the person with dementia can no longer consent. Sex abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse in nursing homes. If a nursing home fails to do proper background checks on an employee who subsequently abuses residents, the home can be liable for negligence.
If nursing homes fail to supervise staff or train staff to recognise signs of abuse, the home can also be liable for negligence. Sexual abuse has been linked to the development of psychotic symptoms in abused children. Treatment for psychotic symptoms may also be involved in sexual abuse treatment. In regards to long term psychological treatment, prolonged exposure therapy has been tested as a method of long-term PTSD treatment for victims of sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse prevention programmes were developed in the United States of America during the 1970s and originally delivered to children. The term survivor is sometimes used for a living victim, including victims of usually non-fatal harm, to honor and empower the strength of an individual to heal, in particular a living victim of sexual abuse or assault. Sexual misconduct can occur where one person uses a position of authority to compel another person to engage in an otherwise unwanted sexual activity.