The recent allegations about a 1979 incident involving then 32-year old Alabama Assistant District Attorney Roy Moore illustrate, once again, that we are woefully misinformed and misguided about the reality of childhood sexual abuse and assault.
When an adult—whether a teacher, clergy member, coach, or in this case a prosecutor in a courthouse—initiates a sexual conversation or has sexual contact with a minor child, the incident is child sexual abuse, period.
The most commonly used terms to describe adult sexual contact with a person under the age of 18 include:
- Sexual encounter
- Sexual relations
- Sexual relationship
- Dating, or “He asked her on a date”
A minor child does not have the ability to give consent for sexual contact with an adult.
That is why consent laws exist, and why an adult who has sexual contact with a minor child is guilty of a criminal act.
An adult, no matter what his/her status, is in an authority role over a minor child. A child does not freely—without direct or indirect coercion—enter into a relationship, sexual relationship, sexual relations, or “date” an adult. In fact, adults have a duty to protect children from such coercion and exploitation. . .
Read the whole article here on the Huffington Post.
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© Vicki Tidwell Palmer, LCSW (2017)
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