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- Sexual abuse is any sexual act that is forced against someone’s will.
- Threats of sexual violence
- Any unwanted sexual contact
- Any attempt to make unwanted sexual contact
- Manipulation, coercion, or use of force to initiate sexual contact
- Intentional touching
- Harassment (grabbing, slapping, or unwanted sexual comments)
- Forced or pressured to remove items of clothing
- Partner flashes private parts
- Forcing partner to watch pornography
- Taking and/or posting nude photos
Power and Control
Sexual abuse is never about sex or sexual gratification. It is about having power, control, and dominance over another. Often times, a victim is made to feel like they “owe” their partner sex or that having a sexual relationship is expected in a romantic relationship. An abusive partner may threaten to break up with the victim if they do not meet their partners sexual “needs”.
Any type of sexual abuse can also be considered physical and emotional as well. All forms of abuse affect how a person feels and thinks (about themselves, their role in the relationship, and relationships in general).