Definitions and types of Child Sexual Abuse

This section contains more detail on the types of child sexual abuse.

Contact/ non-contact Child Sexual Abuse

The term sexual abuse is usually used in connection to children and might include:

· Touching a child in a sexual way.

· Forcing or encouraging a child to touch a person in a sexual way.

· Making a child view sexual material, such as pictures or videos.

· Exposing or “flashing” genitalia to a child.

· Making a child take part in any sexual activity.

For further information on this please read: What is Sexual Violence and Abuse? – Sexual Violence Help and Advice (


Age – Anyone under 18 is defined as a child or young person. This status and entitlement to services or protection is not changed even if a child or young person is 16 and is living independently, is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital or in custody in the secure estate.

Please read more about legal age at:


Grooming is when someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit, and abuse them. Children and young people who are groomed can be sexually abused, exploited or trafficked.

Anybody can be a groomer, no matter their age, gender, race or relationship to the child. Grooming can take place over a short or long period of time – from weeks to years. Groomers may also build a relationship with the young person’s family or friends to make them seem trustworthy or authoritative. Someone who is close to your family already can also be a groomer.

Children are not able to identify that they are being groomed.

Read more about the different types of grooming online at: What Parents Need to Know About Sexual Grooming | NSPCC

Sexual Assault and Rape

All rape and sexual assault is serious. The terms rape and ‘sexual assault’ are used simply to differentiate between two types of offence. So what’s the difference?

The legal definition of rape is when a person intentionally penetrates another’s vagina, anus or mouth with a penis, without the other person’s consent. Assault by penetration is when a person penetrates another person’s vagina or anus with any part of the body other than a penis, or by using an object, without the person’s consent.

Not all cases of sexual assault involve violence, cause physical injury or leave visible marks. Sexual assault can cause severe distress, emotional harm and injuries which can’t be seen – all of which can take a long time to recover from. This is why we use the term ‘assault’ and treat reports just as seriously as those of violent, physical attacks.

Please read more about this at: What is rape and sexual assault? | Metropolitan Police


Drop-in Centre

Our drop-in centre, at the heart of the community in Sparkbrook, is the focal point for all our activity. Staffed by volunteers and health care professionals, we offer a warm welcome to anyone who is looking for help, advice or support. Just call between 9am and 5pm weekdays. No appointment is necessary.

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