Sexual Interaction

Once the perpetrator has access to the child victim and has gained the trust of the child, he engages the child in some form of sexual activity. This sexual activity is progressive. An example of this progression: the perpetrator shows the child pornography, later exposes himself, masturbates in front of the child, touches the genitals of the child, has him or her touch his genitals, has oral sex with the child, and attempts vaginal or anal intercourse.  

This may be a gradual process over time. The child is trapped and is the helpless victim of an adult set on his own sexual satisfaction. 

The offender may be convinced that he loves the child and that what he is doing does not harm the child.

Not all sexual abuse is slow in its progression, and not all sex offenders pretend to love their victims. Some offenders use force, intimidation, threats, and physical abuse to get what they want. Sexual abuse in any form is confusing to the child, and its short-term  and long term consequences may affect every area of a child's life. However, sexual abuse that involves physical force is the most devastating to the child and usually results in symptoms of extreme trauma.       

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