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Jul 022014
 

Sex abuse and assault comes in many different forms and is often perpetrated by individuals known to the victim. While sex assault by an unknown assailant can occur, i.e., rape at gunpoint, the vast majority of sexual predators have a prior relationship with their victims. In fact, by some estimates, 90% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone known to the victim, including:

  • family members,
  • friends/acquaintances,
  • neighbors,
  • teachers, and
  • professionals (clergy, doctors, etc.).

Related: What it Takes to Get Justice Against a Sex Abuser or Molester

Three Common Cases of Sexual Abuse

1. Sexual abuse by a relative

Hands down, the most common type of sexual abuse involves a perpetrator who has a close relationship with the victim. The abuse can be isolated (single event) or prolonged (multiple events over the course of months or even years). Common perpetrators include:

  • parents,
  • grand-parents,
  • step-parents,
  • extended relatives (uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.), and
  • siblings.

In many instances of sex abuse perpetrated by a relative, victims often feel trapped because the abuse literally occurs at home, sometimes in their own bedrooms. In addition, victims are afraid to speak up because they are worry about breaking up their families or not being believed.

In cases when sexual abuse begins at an early age, such as childhood, many victims will forget about the abuse until well into adulthood and even beyond. It is not uncommon for victims in their 50s and 60s to finally be able to come to terms with childhood sexual abuse.

Related: Parents Alert – Signs of Child Sex Abuse

2. Sexual abuse by a teacher or other educator

Another relatively common form of sexual abuse occurs in a school setting, which includes not only primary education (elementary, middle and high school), but also secondary education (college, vocational school) and summer camps.

Educators such as teachers, coaches, principals, etc., often target both young children and older children alike. However, sex abuse of older children, such as pre-teens and teens, is more common than sex abuse of elementary school children.

In addition, it is important to note that adults can be victims of sexual abuse and assault by a teacher or educator. For instance, a college student may be coerced into sexual conduct with a professor who threatens to fail the student unless the student engages in sexual conduct with the professor.

Related: Sexual Assault & Abuse in Schools

3. Sexual abuse by a professional (priest, doctor, etc.)

Although not as common as sexual abuse by a relative or in a school setting, sexual abuse and assault by professionals can and does occur. As indicated in national news over the past decade, the problem of sex abuse in the Catholic Church has reached what seems like epidemic proportions. In fact, over the last few years, countless Philadelphia area priests have been laicized due to allegations of sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse can also be perpetrated by doctors and mental health professionals. No profession is safe.

If you or a loved one was the victim of a sex crime, please contact our office to learn about your criminal and civil legal rights. Firm founder, Brian Kent is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor. Call for a free consultation. 800.220.7600

 Posted by on July 2, 2014 Sexual Abuse