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Sexual abuse (also called sexual molestation) is when one person forces another person to unwillingly commit any sexual act, harassment or any sexual assault. A person who commits sexual abuse is called a molester, abuser, or sexual abuser. When a victim of sexual abuse is under the age of consent, it is known as child sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse can lead to many psychological problems, including low self-esteem, clinical depression, psychological trauma and other mental disorders, especially if the victim is a child and/or the abuse is severe.
Some groups of people are more likely to be sexually abused than others. It is common knowledge that girls and women are sexually abused more often than boys and men, and that abusers are usually men. Disabled people, especially disabled girls, are much more likely than non-disabled people to be sexually abused. They are often abused by authority figures in their lives, such as carers. Disabled people are more vulnerable to sexual assault for a number of reasons. People of different races have different rates of being sexually abused. African American girls and women 12 years old and older experience higher rates of sexual abuse.
- Sexual abuse at the Open Directory Project
- Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network RAINN is the largest anti-sexual assault organization and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotlines.
- Gender Male - False Accusations of Sexual Abuse Archived 2009-01-29 at the Wayback Machine First-hand accounts from men falsely accused of rape and its effect on their lives.
- "sexual abuse | Definition, Laws, & Facts | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 2022-10-08.