Understand and Responding Child Abuse

Better Essays
Understanding and responding: for professionals working with children who have experienced sexual abuse
Child sexual abuse Acknowledgments
Published by Office for Children, Victorian Government Department of Human Services Melbourne, Victoria

May 2009 © Copyright State of Victoria, Department of Human Services, 2006 This publication is copyright. No part may be reproduced by any process except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968. This document may also be downloaded from the Department of Human Services website at: library/publications

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The use of the term child in this booklet includes adolescents. Child sexual abuse involves a wide range of sexual activity. It may include fondling of the

child’s genitals (or getting the child to fondle the perpetrator’s genitals); masturbation (with the child as either observer or participant); oral sex (either fellatio or cunnilingus); vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, finger, or any other object; fondling of breasts;

voyeurism (regular observation of the child) or exhibitionism. It can also include exposing the child to pornography or using the child for the purposes of pornography or prostitution.

Other terms for child sexual abuse include child sexual assault, child sexual victimisation,

child exploitation, child sexual misuse, child molestation, child sexual maltreatment and

child rape.

Abuse occurs when a person uses their authority, either by using force or not, to get a child to participate in activities that are for the sexual gratification of the person in authority. A sibling or older child may be in a relative relationship of power over a younger or more dependent child. Children always have less power than adults. The closer the relationship between the

child and the adult, the greater the dependency and therefore the greater the power that the adult has over the child.

Children lack the necessary information and
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