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May 09, 2008
Sexual abuse...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

When a child of 8 years is touched sexually or forced to perform oral sex, that is sexual abuse, regardless of the age of the person doing the offending. But whether or not what happened to you Raz meets the legal definition of sexual abuse is another matter. Rightly or wrongly, it all depends on where you live and the age of the offender. It is a very complex matter when children sexually abuse other children. It's a lot more cut and dry when it's an adult who sexually assaults a child.

But what really matters here is that you were offended against. What happened to you wasn't your fault. Period. As a child, you had no power to protect yourself, even if your offender was also a child. It might seem to you that you permitted the assaults to take place, but at 8 years of age, you couldn't be expected to know how or be able to stop the abuse. Don't ever make the mistake of putting adult values on the actions or inactions of a child. It was up to the adults in your life to protect you and keep you safe from harm.

There are information pages on this site that discuss the issue of sexual abuse, as well as other forms of abuse. Please refer to the navigation bar on the left margin for these information pages. Since you haven't given much information in your question, I cannot refer you to a specific sex offender page; read the one(s) that apply to your situation.

You obviously need help with this, Raz. I suggest some form of counselling. You might also consider contacting ChildLine on 0800 1111. Check out their website at www.donthideit.com. You don't have to deal with this alone, but you absolutely should deal with it; otherwise it will manifest itself in all other areas of your life.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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