How Do I Know if I’ve Been Sexually Abused?

Written by Barbara Wilson

Sexual abuse has a broader definition than we may assume. There are four types of sexual abuse: verbal, visual, physical and psychological.

Verbal sexual abuse includes sexual threats, sexual comments about your body, lewd or suggestive comments and inappropriate sexual conversations with children.

Visual sexual abuse includes exposure to pornographic, sexually explicit material or scenes, exhibitionism, and voyeurism.

Physical sexual abuse is much broader than intercourse. It also includes touching that is intended to arouse the victim or abuser.  It can include forced, unforced or simulated sex, sexual touch, and/or intercourse.

Psychological sexual abuse is less obvious, and more difficult to discern. It usually involves having an adult who violates a child’s privacy during bathing or dressing activities, especially an older child who is capable of doing this on their own.

An adult that walks in unasked or announced while a child is in the bathroom, or getting dressed in their room and who proceeds to inappropriately watch them, is a form of sexual abuse. It is much harder to discern because to do so you’d need to know the intent of the adult. But even when children or young adults sense that the intent of the intrusion is sexual in nature, they would have a hard time proving it, especially as the adult could deny any inappropriate intent. Another form of psychological sexual abuse is when a parent uses the child or young adult as a surrogate mate sharing their intimate needs or desires with them, or using the child to meet their emotional needs rather than a spouse.

For further reading in this series:

Childhood Sexual Abuse: How the past affects the present
Why do I feel this way?
How do I know if I need healing?
Why do I struggle with sexual intimacy?
How can I heal from my sexual past 

Would you like to talk to a mentor? Just use this form and you’ll get a personal, private response from your mentor, usually within a couple of days.  Can we pray for you?

Recommended Reading:

On The Threshold of Hope by:  Diane Langberg
The Wounded HeartHope For Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by:  Dan Allender
List of Barbara’s Books  Barbara covers many issues in her books including Sexual Abuse and much more.


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128 Responses to “How Do I Know if I’ve Been Sexually Abused?”

  • Alfred Alfred says:

    Dear Leeah, those were quite some nights you had on the couch with that young man! I’m glad to know that you have not seen him since, so he had no opportunity to get even closer to you. What he did was definitely sexual abuse, both physically and psychologically, as described in the article above. Rubbing your thighs and touching your panties was an invasion of your privacy, and you had full right to feel threatened! Yet you say that in a way it felt good, but somehow you knew he was going much too far. Sin is sometimes so pleasant and attractive that we like it, yet in the end it leads to sorrow and pain.
    God gave you a wonderful human body. Parts of it are so special that no one except your spouse should see or touch them! The Bible says that sex of any kind is only for people who are married to one-another. For your own Spiritual health, I’d say, forgive this man and say to yourself that it was a lesson in learning to take care of yourself (in that something like that doesn’t ever happen again – to you or to your children). For yourself, I’d say, you were so young and too vulnerable to oppose him; so, forgive yourself. Ask God to help you that this experience will not take away any joy from your adult sex-life with your husband.
    Hi Wefny, I agree that this experience with the boys was merely “children discovering the difference between sexes”. You were all young enough to find it interesting but not threatening. Like you say, it never happened again, so there was no harm to anyone. A few may disagree with me, but I’d say it was insignificant, and there is no benefit in blaming your brother or anyone else.
    Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for making the human body so special. We have a charge to take care of it, and ask you to help us daily so we do not desecrate it in any way. May we be an example to the next generation as to how to act in modesty and live in purity. I pray for our homes, that they be places where Your Word is read and obeyed. May the Holy Spirit guide us to pass on our faith in an ever-changing world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  • wefny says:

    I don’t no if this would be serial abuse or not. This memory only came back a few weeks ago and I can’t remember it all. Anyway what happend was when I was younger me and older brother,older cousin (they are about the same age) and my other cousin (female) about my age were playing.now all I remember is that some how we end up lying on a bed and none of us had bottoms on and the boys got us to spread our legs and then rub the things against our bits.all I remember is at the time we were happy to go along with it. I don’t remember what ages I was but I would guess 5 or 6 witch would make my brother about 9 or10. As we were all happy with it I don’t no what to think. I also only happend once and I don’t no my brother was old enough to no he was doing something wrong. Like if he had walked in on my mum and dad having see maybe they told him they were playing and he thought he was just playing to. I don’t no what to do as I don’t want to say anything and ruin his life if I am wrong Help!!!!!!?

  • Leeah says:

    When I was 14,I stayed a few nights at my cousin’s house. He had a friend staying there who was 22 at the time. This friend was extremely nice to me, talked to me, hung out with me, and made me feel like I wasn’t just some dumb kid.My second night there, this friend and I were bickering over who would get to sleep on the couch. He pretended to fall asleep before I did so that no one could move him. I went ahead & laid at the other end. St some point in the night, I woke up to him rubbing my feet, as I guess I may have pushed my feet against him in my sleep. I felt a little uncomfortable and tried to pull my foot away, but he wouldn’t let me. Since he wasn’t doing anything “bad”, I shrugged it off & went back to sleep. The next night, we were both on the couch again, except this time, he didn’t wait until I fell asleep to start rubbing my feet. It felt so good, I let myself relax & slid my legs across his lap. He then began rubbing my calves, which was fine, but then, be was rubbing my thighs as well and tugging on my shorts. At first, I was so shocked, I just froze. Then I got scared because I thought maybe if I resisted, he may try to hurt me. He eventually took off my shorts & when he took my panties off, even though I was scared, I could feel myself getting excited. He touched me for a while and the whole time I was thinking I should say something, but I was confused because I liked it & I was afraid of what he might do if I tried to stop him. The next night, he did the exact same thing and even caused me to orgasm. He then stuck my hands down his pants and guided me into giving him oral sex. I knew that, as an adult, he should not be doing these things with me, but I was excited by the feelings and flattered by his attention. I never saw or spoke to him again after that. I’m not sure if this would be considered abuse or not?

  • Chris Chris says:

    anon…well one thing is for sure, that neither you nor anyone else has to put up with any type of touching that isnt to your liking. be Frank with your cousin or let your parents know that you would rather not be touched or taken anywhere you dont want to go with him. our free wills are Gods gift to us. noone has the right to violate those. blessings to you!

  • anon... says:

    hi well i was wondering if anybody could tell if somebody i know is a molestor. Today i was at a family gathering and my cousin who is alot older then me always seems more interested in playing with the kids then all the adults. And also he always tried to touch me but not in a bad way but like putting his hands on my shoulds, tickling me, and hugging me.. ALOT. and whenever he comes over to my house it seems like he always wants to take me to the park or get icecream or something i mean i dont know if hes just being friendly or something else so if anybody knows thanks :)

  • anon says:

    hi well i was wondering if anybody could tell if somebody i know is a molestor. Today i was at a family gathering and my cousin who is alot older then me always seems more interested in playing with the kids then all the adults. And also he always tried to touch me but not in a bad way but like putting his hands on my shoulds, tickling me, and hugging me.. ALOT. and whenever he comes over to my house it seems like he always wants to take me to the park or get icecream or something i mean i dont know if hes just being friendly or something else so if anybody knows thanks :)

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Me, I like Chris, am sorry to hear about your marital and family struggles. The best I can suggest is that you flood heaven with prayer from whatever Christian source you can think of. Church prayer groups, Bible Study Prayer Lists, TV and Radio call-in programs- such as 100 Huntley St, The 700 Club, TBN.org., Christian family, friends, and neighbors, Christian book and tract suppliers- such as Good News Gospel Tracts, American Tract Society, and Gospel Tract Society.

    You can also go to Facebook.com, and Jesus Daily, and ask any and all Christians to lift you and your family up in prayer.

    One other thing I suggest you do is go the following website: http://powertochange.com/discover/need-prayer/. From there you will be forwarded to a prayer mentor who will discuss your situation, and be happy to pray with you about it. Let’s pray:

    Heavenly Father, You know Me’s plight. You sent Jesus Christ into the world so that she could cast all her cares on Him, for He cares for her and her children. He even cares for her ex-husband, as bad and evil as he is, and would like to save his soul. Father, grant Me the fortitude it requires to see this situation resolved, and come to an end. Touch her and her children with Your precious and powerful Holy Spirit, and bring them to good health. Restore to them all that the enemy has stolen and destroyed, and bring them to a place of peace in You, in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

  • Chris Chris says:

    me…i am sorry to hear about your marital and family struggles. thankfully we do have a God of justice and laws in place to refrain people like your husband from continuing their evil. you mention a court case so i assume the process of justice has reached a point of judgment and is working in your favor. we pray that jesus help you stand firm for the truth and that his defense be in your favor. though at times Gods answers seems to be delayed, habakkuk chapter 2 encourages us to hold fast and stand firm, knowing that God will not permit us more than we can bear. 1 cor 10.13. all things will work out for your good as you are called according to his purpose of witnessing to a Christian life not void of suffering, but one that conquers through it. romans 8.28. jesus bless you with his power today!

  • me says:

    Hi, I am a Mother of 4 and have some stuff I am very confused how to handle! I have an ex that has been very abusive, when my children were younger he was a heroin addict and spent much of his time in and out of the relationship and their lives.We both became Christians at the same time and became clean and sober at the same time.Later he started to become very abusive especially when I became a Christian, he would rip my bible up and constantly threaten to leave the relationship, he punched me in the face and told me I should be worshipping him. He constantly cheated on me and I spent most of the time praying and spending time with God to be strengthened to know what to do.It was not so easy to just leave because as long as he was not living with me he could take the children wherever he partied and legally I could not do anything about it, no matter what! I tried so hard to do everything perfect, I was so devastated..Most times if my daughter went with him she would come home with horror stories of who he was with and what he did petrified her.There were times when he would come and get our 2 year old son and right in front of me he would throw the car seat in the back, and throw him in the front and drive off recklessly making me think he was trying to kill him, that’s when I would scream in terror and pray helplessly. The police could not help me and I had no family, the church had no understanding of abuse and really could not even listen to me without judgement! The years went on and he put the children through sheer terror.I tried getting us Christian counselling because I stopped letting the kids go with him and tried to get him to see them at my home and cook him dinner etc.he caught on and demanded they come to his place, during counselling they just believed everything he said( he really knew how to talk) and told me I had to let him take the kids or I was a jezebel.Eventually they went and my oldest daughter phoned crying because my ex took away my 4 year old son and she was forced to stay with teens having sex and drunk in the next room we stayed on the phone all night while I prayed, I had a new born baby and did not drive I lived in poverty so I could not go get her. he finally brought them home and he stopped asking for them for a while until he met a girl and then he was taking me to court.They made life so unbearable and harassed me constantly,I would not let him take the kids.The courts were siding with him and allowed him to harass me in the court room, and send me home with police escorts.He was on Heroin and cocaine!! My son when he was 5 in the middle of the court case told me his Father touched him sexually, I was so petrified I knew what was going to happen but I had to confront it..They racked me through the coals,I was so traumatized I just wanted to die, but my son would not stop saying he did it and I knew I had to fight to protect him..They allowed supervised visits but my son would not allow me to take his diaper off to go for the visits, when he got there finally he would not let anyone take his seatbelt off and stayed in the car, at one point I do not know if it was on purpose but he took the cord for the blinds wrapped it around his neck and jumped off the window sill and I thought I was going to have a nervous break down. eventually they gave him custody but he refused it and said he did not want it and they could find him when they got older..They did not find physical evidence of the sexual abuse but my son insisted even though I bit my tongue out of sheer fear and acted like it was ok to go to see him at the supervised visits but he still insisted he was telling the truth.. The kids and I spent the next 10 years struggling with PTSD! He came back to town 4 years ago but my son said he didn’t do it,( later I found out the only reason why he said that was because he was confused:my sons words.”) so we thought oh my gosh look he is clean and sober, he became a Christian maybe now things can be good.he began to say I was stalking him and played games telling the church to leave as soon as they saw me! My son went into drugs and a gang, and the whole family was re traumatized.My ex became a Pastor, one day while driving by we said he was the antichrist to ourselves and he heard (it was not wise but sometimes you say stupid things to cope.)he started sending the cops to my home saying my oldest daughter and I were harassing him and he didn’t want anything to do with us only the younger ones. He was believed and we were yelled at by the cops.My son was very confused but started having flash backs of being brought into a room with his Father and he would go in a rage but doesn’t remember anything.. My son would go in a rage and for 3 years he has been struggling in gangs and on oxy. He’s been finally clean for around 47 days out at his girlfriends Father’s house and has been convinced by them to get in touch with his Father (they have no idea of what happened in the past,he won’t share his personal issues)I am scared for him to do this because of what may happen and because just recently last May my ex’s new wife was pretending I was harassing her and said she was going to get a restraining order on me even though they decided to move 1/2 A block away from my kids school, I have never spoken to her in any way especially since he sent the cops I make sure I try to stay away as much as possible.. In the past he has tried to run me down with his car with my daughter in my arms and I recently found out that when we were going to court he was involved with a drug cartel and when he was accused of sexual abuse he shaved his head completely bald.. In the past he had been sexually abused and admitted to touching a young baby that was 2 years when he was around 12 he wasn’t happy with himself but he admitted it to me though! I am scared and think my son was abused but these cases are so fragile, he has told many lies to the congregation about me and I feel like he uses his title to make it seem like he is innocent, his gifting is preaching and talking so he always appears very convincing when he talks, he has no conscience he could lie right in front of you and keep a straight face,even though you just watched him do something he’s now lying about right in front of you, it’s so bizarre..I am scared and angry I have just been through too much I can’t take any more..My son does not remember too much and does not like to talk about things and is considering having him in his life.Many have complained about him being abusive but his leaders do not listen and expect others to give him a chance I was told it’s so weird!Please help me, my son has sever PTSD, he has no nails from biting them down so much, he rages you can’t talk to him about anything but he does feel bad for his actions, he’s so rejected by the church, and I have been so alienated from my own PTSD his father has been so surrounded and taken in I just can’t seem to find real help and support..Where is God and why does he allow this?

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Lele, I suggest that you visit the website below.

    There you will be forwarded to a Christian woman mentor, with whom you will be able to discuss this matter in privacy.

    Here is the website. http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/. Please Copy it, and Paste it into your web browser address bar.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Anonanom, Yes, it could be possible that both you and your sister could have been sexually abused.

    I suggest that you visit the below website.

    There you will be forwarded to a Christian woman mentor, with whom you will be able to discuss this matter in privacy.

    Here is the website. http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/. Please Copy it, and Paste it into your web browser address bar.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Maddie, I am sorry to hear about your experience when you were younger, and I suggest that you visit the below website.

    There you will be forwarded to a Christian woman mentor, with whom you will be able to discuss this matter in privacy.

    Here is the website. http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/. Please Copy it, and Paste it into your web browser address bar.

  • maddie says:

    In have faint memorys of being sexually abused by ethier my father or his friend who was convicted of rape not to long ago….it could be both
    Im scared to look into it
    But I remember something happening when I was at the age of five I am 13 now and I’m pretty messed up on the inside and I’m wondering is that why
    How can you tell!?

  • Lele says:

    Hello,I am here because I do not know if I was ever sexually abused. As I child at 8 years old & younger I was very curious about sex. So I would start touching adult males’ genatiles in my family. For some reason I loved doing it & my dad would let me do it when he was talking on the phone, but he would stop me if I tried to pull it out his pants, but he would let me continue to play with him there if I didn’t expose his private part. Our relationship was weird, I would take baths with him & he never touched me at all. The thing is with my sibling which confuses me, I love him a lot ’til this day, but I have this fuzzy memory in my head about what happened to me when I was younger. We would play games together a lot, & I thought this was a game. I don’t remember how it really happened, but I was curious. I went under the sheet & started touching his private & he asked me if I wanted to taste or smell it. Can’t remember which one…I don’t know if I put my mouth towards it or not. All I know that whatever I did was bad. However, he never touched me. He allowed me to touch him, I was either 7 or 8 & he must have been 17 & older. I knew we did something bad, because when our parents called us to come here. We ran out the room to see what they wanted. I’m really confused & I don’t know if it was real or not. Why would my sibling do this? BTW, I’m 18 years old now.

  • Anonanom says:

    My sister and I have both had this weird feeling that we may have been sexually abused some way as kids. We didn’t get this feeling until recently (we are 17(me) and 21(her)) when we were talking about our child hood and we both realized that we barely remember most of it or one of us remembers one thing the other doesn’t. we suspect we could be repressing some memories but can’t be sure. Our parents didn’t nessasarily abuse us but we always felt alone or unloved and I myself have a fear of my father because he used to get mad and yell and sometimes become violent but i dont remember ever being hit by him. my mother did smack me a bit if i misbehaved (i have ADHD so i was a bit more energetic than most) but it never hurt or left bruises. Also when i was younger (4-7ish) i used to have dreams about being raped by older men (firemen, utility workers, random older men, etc) but i never stayed asleep for the actual rape part i always woke up. they really freaked me out and i sometimes still get them but now they involve boys i do know. sometimes when i suspect a boy might have a crush on me i will have a dream about him sexually abusing me and after i will push him away and get freaked out for a bit. I also have trouble trusting anybody and i feel a bit paranoid. im also insecure about my body. the first serious boyfriend i had liked to touch my boobs alot and i felt extremely insecure and the more he explored my body i felt more and more ashamed of it and felt i had to hide my face when he did this idk if thats normal. im also a very sexual person but i feel its normal for someone of my age but as a kid i was very sexual i pressured one of my friends to kiss me because i knew she was weak and would give in. i didnt like her or anything but sometimes i would just get urges too i guess. im also uncomfortable around boys who are in grade school, especially my friends younger 10 year old brother. i was fine around him until she told me he had a little crush on me. i realize it was totally innocent but ever since im freaked out whenever he touches me or is nice to me or tries to be affectionate. im very close to her whole family (they even make jokes about addopting me) so he’s like a little brother to me.

    anyway sorry this is super long but i guess im wondering if it’s possible i could have been sexually abused and maybe why i get freaked out by boys and have rape dreams

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Kate, here is a definition of Sexual Assault according to Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia:

    “In the United States, the definition of sexual assault varies widely between the individual states. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network defines sexual assault as “unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling.”

  • Kate says:

    So I just turned 18 and a friend and I decided to go to a not so safe area to go record shopping and then to the boardwalk.
    Anyway, we’re walking and we see a group of kids significantly younger than me walking toward us. I didn’t think much of it because they were kids. We waited for the light to change and I heard one of them say “Lemme hit that.” to me. I didn’t answer and then after the third time he came up to me and said it again. Mind you I was in a different area. I said no and he proceeded to touch my butt along with one of his friends. I snapped at him and told him to get out and they ran away. Is it sexual assault? I’ve been wracking my brain about this and I feel super uncomfortable.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Sean, first, let me say that Chris gave you some very good advice. I agree with him having experienced a troubled life myself, and having done exactly what he suggests you do. It brought the freedom which I believe you are seeking.

    Also, you may want to try going to the website he suggested: knowingjesuspersonally.com. From there you can be directed to a mentor who will work with you in finding a solution to your problem.

    It’s all free, so you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

  • Chris Chris Landwerlen says:

    sean…for our lives to go well, we need the blessings of christ in our lives which means receiving him personally into our hearts as we repent of any known sin and asking forgiveness. i encourage you to do that today. realize that a life lived without having jesus as our lord and savior, is a life not worth living. if you want to know more about knowing jesus personally log on at…knowingjesuspersonally.com. blessings!

  • Sean says:

    I have often wondered if I had been sexually abused. My adult life has been difficult. I didn’t dream of this on my own, I’ve had therapists who have asked me point blank. I had to say “I don’t think so” because I don’t. I have no memory of being sexually abused. To be fair, my father used our home as “Ellis Island” when I was a small child and a series of relatives passed through on their way to being legal.

    I also have had other childhood experiences that I know made me feel like I do and I know I don’t remember them all. My father’s second wife made me feel like a total loser, between the ages of 7 and 12. I was an overweight child and she made me feel like less of a person. Now, as 33-year-old adult, I am overly conscious about my weight and appearance even though I’m within normal range now. I’m still conscious of my appearance and I can’t pass a mirror without studying myself in it (it sounds vain, but it’s compulsive). I can remember SOME of what happened in that capacity, but I know I have “misplaced” a lot of my ammo. There is no way that what I remember totals how I feel. I think my issue goes further back, but I am not sure. Maybe NOTHING AT ALL happened to me. I have this constant, nagging feeling that something is wrong with me.

    I’m 33 now. I’ve been married to a woman for nearly 3 years. I lost my virginity at 13. I have dated both men and women. From the ages of 16 to 33, I have had at least 35 sexual partners. Of those 17 years, I spent 13 of them in serious relationships, which led me to rack up most of my numbers in 4 years’ time, with both men and women. As of right now, I couldn’t properly pick out my sexual orientation if you paid me. I guess I’d be bisexual. But my brain is wired strangely.

    I’ll tell you right off the bat that I’m not where I should be. I was always regarded as very smart. I can’t apply it effectively. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder. I practically cried when I got an ADHD diagnosis because I hoped it would free me of my chains. The medication they gave me did not — it made me throw up (no, it wasn’t Adderall). None of it fits because the medication never fits. I’ve tried it all. I’m relegated to working in retail making an “OK” hourly wage. I know I should do better, I am capable of it, I think about it every day: but I can’t. BTW, I failed out of college. I was teenage father at 17.

    Sexually, I’m complex. I have a high sex drive that has never been really satisfied by anyone I’ve been with (male or female). If I told my wife how often I masturbate, how I do it or to what — she’d get grossed out. I don’t bring it up, just a simple “We don’t do it as often as I’d like”. It makes her feel wanted and it makes me feel like I’ve said it. I often consider cheating on my wife, but always think better of it. It isn’t HER problem, it is mine. I won’t force my problems on anyone else to harm them, but the temptation is always there for me. Of my 4 serious relationships, I cheated in all of them EXCEPT my marriage (which I took seriously and would never do). My former partners never found out, though.

    In terms of sexual fantasy, I find myself seeking out disturbing tag lines online. Really terrible stuff. The stuff I seek out is when the individuals do not have a choice, this is among other similar but different ideas. A lot of guys imagine themselves in a “porn scene”. I would never. In my head, I’m not good enough to imagine myself with anyone. I don’t fantasize with myself, always other people (that I don’t know).

    I have an acre of private land. When I’m completely alone (which is rare), I jack off totally naked outside in my yard. Like I have something to prove. I know it isn’t appropriate. I still do it and like it. If it means anything, and it might, I’d never regard myself as a “man”. It makes me cringe. I’m not a man. I’m cool if you call me a guy.

    It’s important to note that I have toddlers. I have absolutely ZERO sexual interest in them. I like that, it makes me feel safe. I love them and would never harm them. I just hate how my brain is wired for this constant sexual problem. I’ve slept with WHOMEVER showed an interest and I didn’t find disgusting, I’ve underperformed in terms of life, I’m an alcoholic (did I mention that?), I have a serious sex drive, I fantasize about terrible things (which gets more perverted as time goes on).

    I feel like I need validation because I haven’t gotten anything yet. True, I haven’t discussed much of this with anyone, but I’m afraid to. What the effin hell is wrong with me?

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Mia, first of all, thank you for recanting that I am an idiot.

    Second, by the prayer I prayed for Val, you can tell that I thought that he was a male, which puts the whole scenario in a different light. Boys that age do have the propensity of investigating and scrutinizing each other, and yes, it usually is mutually consented.

    Third, I did suggest getting some type of professional help, and closed with asking Val to forgive the other boy, which in itself can be a great means by which to acquire release from the nagging memory of an unfortunate incident.

  • Mia says:

    Not idiot, I am sorry, but that was an extremely ignorant and insensitive to say it was “hardly molestation.”

  • Mia says:

    Aldo you’re an idiot. If she was forced and felt violated, it was sexual abuse. END OF STORY. It doesn’t matter how old the kid was, it wasn’t consensual and she didn’t agree to “investigate” with him. Val, that is called child on child molestation, and it was just as wrong and traumatizing as it would’ve been if an adult did it. I recommend talking about it with a counselor who KNOWS that. I am so sorry that that happened to you and I wish you the best in overcoming this hard trial.

  • Aldo Aldo says:

    Val, children that age are prone to investigating and scrutinizing each other. Usually, it is mutually consented to.

    You have stated that the boy who was a year older than you forced you to touch him. That, in itself, can be very ambiguous, or questionable, depending on numerous factors, which you can barely remember.

    From what I can tell, the occurrence can hardly be described as molestation.

    If you are plagued by it now, I suggest you get some type of professional help, but if it just a matter of questioning it, allow it to be “water under the bridge.”

    Pray for and forgive the other boy involved, and ask forgiveness of God for your part in it. He will forgive you, then you need to forgive yourself. Let’s pray:

    Father God, thank You for Your love for Val. A love so great it is unfathomable. Help him to grasp the magnitude of that love. Help him to comprehend the sacrifice You made for him in sending Your Son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for his sins, and the sins of all mankind. Lord, help Val to forgive his boyhood friend and himself, and to wipe that event from his memory so that he is not bothered by it any longer, in Jesus Name. Amen.

  • Val says:

    I can barely remember but I do recall when I was about 6 a boy that was a year older than me forcing me to touch him and him touching me in appropriately in a tent. I don’t know whether you would call that “molest” or not but I am 16 years old now and questioning it all.

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    Anon,
    I think it really depends on the family and the child. Some people are very private and so yes, in that case, their privacy is very important. In other families there is an openness, for example where there are all sisters or all brothers it seems like they are more comfortable with having people coming in and out I think because they shared the bathroom their entire lives. But in any case, we need to be very mindful of the privacy of others. Agreed.

  • Anon says:

    I don’t care what anyone says- whether they had sexual intent or not, if they come into the bathroom or the child’s bedroom like that while they’re undressing or using the toilet or showering or whatever, just waltz right in, that IS sexual abuse. That angers me greatly. I told my mom as a child (And as a teen, and as a young adult when I still lived at home) that I wanted her to stop coming in but she always had the excuse that there’s only one bathroom in the house and she needs to get in there. Couldn’t she wait till I was done urinating? Geez! What I’m saying is, whether it was sexual in nature or not, it’s still wrong.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I think that is a good idea. Sometimes it is nice to have a friend you can have a heart-to-heart with. If you would like you could connect with one of our mentors. They are warm, caring people who a very easy to talk to. They have a lot of experience that can be helpful when you are trying to figure things out. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at http://powertochange.com/experience/talk-to-a-mentor/ and one of them will get in touch with you soon by email. Oh yeah, it’s free so you don’t have to be worried about paying or anything.

    So have you met any friends in your new area? Will you be going to school there this year?

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