Sexual Abuse

Most people envision sexual abuse as someone physically bigger and stronger overpowering someone else who is more vulnerable in order to perform a sexual act. More often though, sexual abuse has to do with manipulation or not understanding the rules of consent. For example, in a situation where an older boy made out with a younger girl who told him that she was older, they could end up having sex because they had different concepts of what "making out" entailed. Without understanding the basic rules of consent, things can more easily get out of control. Because of this, when dealing with an alleged sexual abuse, it is important to talk about the rules of consent and sexual disclosure.

Examples of some basic rules of consent that you can discuss:

  • Within three years of age to each other
  • Same level of intelligence
  • Same level emotionally
  • Permission to say no
  • Both say yes
  • Both know what is going to happen
  • Honesty
  • Affection
  • No impaired thinking

Warning Signs

Although it is difficult to accept that your son may be involved with sexual abuse, it is better to know so that you can help him. If you are not sure, some signs that you should consider are:

  • Catching your son on the computer in the middle of the night
  • Erased history on family computer
  • Questionable content popping up on your computer
  • Friends or family telling you that they’ve noticed your son acting differently
  • Not trusting where your son is or what is he really doing
  • Your son has stolen underwear or has been involved in criminal behavior or legal issues

Finding Answers and Healing

You can find answers for your son at Oxbow Academy. With over twenty years of success working with teens, families, and communities, you can trust that you and your son can find hope and healing in a safe and effective way. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and reach out to us at 855-676-4272.