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Definition of sexual abuse and rape

Abstract: Sexual abuse - assault and rape

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Definition of sexual abuse and rape

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Written by: Wendy Moelker, psychologist in charge of Emergis, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 31 Jul 2013.

What is sexual abuse?


Sexual abuse is understood to mean assault and rape. This can have happened once or several times. The offender may be a stranger or an acquaintance, man or woman, family, boy/ girlfriend, partner or social worker. Assault is to force a person to commit or allow sexual acts other than penetration (penetrating the vagina with the penis), by threatening to use violence or other means. Rape is to sexually penetrate an opening of the body by means of threatening to use violence or other means for example psychological pressure inside or outside marriage.

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