Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre_Parent Support Handbook

. . . . . Normal Childhood Sexual Exploration between Children vs. Sexually Abusive Situations


Children and youth normally explore, experiment and/or play games related to sex and sexuality with other same-aged children and youth. However, the following situations would be cause for concern and should be addressed immediately: • When one child/youth forces the other child/youth to engage in the behavior • When there is an age difference between the children/youth • When there is a noticeable size difference between the children and youth • When there are differences in ability between the children (e.g., one child has a disability) • When one child has a known history of sexual abuse • Anytime there is a difference in power between the children/youth (e.g., bully and unpopular youth)

Adapted from: & the work of Tony Cavanaugh Johnson

If your child has engaged in sexual exploration with another child or youth, and you’re not sure it was abusive, call us! 604.584.5811

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