non-accidental commission of any act by a caretaker upon a child under age 18 which causes, or creates a substantial risk
of, physical or emotional injury; or constitutes a sexual offense under the laws of the Commonwealth; or any sexual contact
between a caretaker and a child under the care of that individual. This definition is not dependent upon location (i.e., abuse
can occur while the child is in an out-of-home or in-home setting.
disorders: are a type of mental illness characterized by severe anxiety that interferes
with a person's life. Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear, uneasiness, or concern that something bad is about to happen.
Anxiety disorders include:
anxiety disorder, which involves several months of ongoing physical symptoms that occur along with anxiety.
disorders, which involve repeated episodes of sudden fear and feelings of danger or impending doom, along with physical symptoms.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, which involves frequent, repeated thoughts leading to repeated or persistent behavior
(such as excessive hand-washing).
Post-traumatic stress disorder, which involves reliving a traumatic event (such
as a war experience or rape) and feelings of numbness and disinterest in daily activities.
These disorders can be treated
with medications and/or counseling.
(Author: Kerry V. CookeAmy Fackler, MA
Medical Review: Patrice Burgess, MD
- Family Medicine
Last Updated May 27, 2005)
Assailant/Perpetrator/Offender/Abuser is someone who attacks another. This is someone who does something, as in a perpetrator of violence
or abuse. These terms can be used more or less interchangeably.
Rape: Any unwanted sexual contact or attention achieved by coercion, force, threats,
bribes, manipulation, pressure, tricks, or violence by someone with which the victim is acquainted. The perpetrator may be
a spouse, a partner, a friend, or merely someone the victim sees around the neighborhood from time to time. This is by far
the most common type of sexual assault. 85% of victims know their attackers (National Violence Against Women Survey 1998).
Battering: is a sociological term coined by the battered
women’s movement to describe a pattern of physical violence, intimidation, coercion, and other forms of abuse committed
by a person (the batterer) to establish or maintain control of his and her partner.
Chronic: A disease or condition that is long-lasting
Behavioral modification: altering a person's environment
to achieve certain new behaviors, or to cause certain behaviors to cease.
sexual acts with animals. Some victims are forced to do this for bestiality
pornography, which is lucrative on the black market.
Bipolar disorder: Also known as manic depression, an illness that can cause extreme shifts in thoughts, energy, mood,
and behavior; a person's mood may swing between "highs" (mania) and "lows" (depression); in between mood swings, a person
may have few or no symptoms.
Bipolar I disorder (BP I): The most common type of bipolar disorder. This condition is associated with one or more manic or mixed episodes. It
may also include one or more major depressive episodes.
Bipolar II disorder
(BP II): A type of bipolar disorder. This condition is associated with one
or more major depressive episodes and hypo-manic episodes. Racing thoughts, a symptom of mania in which a person has uncontrollable
and quickly changing thoughts and ideas.
Child: any born, unmarried person less than 18 years old who has not been emancipated by order of the court
Child Neglect : Child neglect is characterized by failure
to provide for the child's basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional.
Child sexual abuse: any experience during childhood or adolescence that involves
inappropriate sexual attention from another person. This person is usually an adult but can also be an older child, teenager,
or even a person the same age.
Sexual abuse can take place within the family by a parent, stepparent, grandparent,
sibling, or other relative. It also can occur outside the family by a friend, neighbor, caregiver, clergy, teacher, or random
molester. Children are often afraid to tell anyone what has happened. Most have been threatened in some way to keep them silent.
There are three types of sexual abuse: non-touching sexual abuse, touching sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation.
Non-touching sexual abuse includes:
deliberately exposing a child to the act of sexual intercourse
• exposing a child to pornographic material
indecent exposure or exhibitionism
• masturbating in front of a child
sexual abuse can include:
• any penetration of a child's vagina or anus
by an object that doesn't have a medical purpose
• making a child touch an adult's sexual organs
Sexual exploitation can include:
engaging a child for the purposes of prostitution
• using a child to film, photograph, or model pornography
Consent: shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure
by the victim to offer physical resistance. Consent is not given when a person uses force, threat of force, coercion or when
the victim is asleep, incapacitated, or unconscious.
Dating Violence: is the verbal, physical, and/or sexual abuse of one partner by the other, in an intimate relationship.
Relationship violence implies that the “couple” is not married, does not have a child in common and is not living
together. This type of abuse may involve pushing, shoving, hitting, choking, intimidation, threats, humiliation, insults,
pressure, destruction of property, isolation, sexual relations without consent, unwanted sexual touching, or pressure to engage
in humiliating or degrading sexual activity.
Domestic Violence: the (CDC) defines intimate partner violence as "actual or threatened physical or sexual violence,
or psychological and emotional abuse, directed toward a spouse, ex-spouse, current or former boyfriend or girlfriend, or current
or former dating partner." Domestic violence is a pattern of physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive behaviors
used by one individual to assert power or maintain control over another in the context of an intimate or family relationship
or have a child in common.Other terms used to describe domestic violence include domestic abuse, spouse abuse, courtship violence,
battering, marital rape, and date rape.
Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse (psychological/verbal abuse/mental injury) includes acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers
that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders. Six forms of psychological
maltreatment are described by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children http://apsac.fmhi.usf.edu/ and include
spurning, exploiting/ corrupting, terrorizing, denying emotional responsiveness, isolating, and unwarranted denial of mental
health care, medical care, or education.
Emotional Development: Young people in abusive situations must redirect their energy from emotional development to survival.
When they are forced to focus on avoiding the violent or sexual advances of an adult caretaker, they do not make the same
developmental progress as children who receive unconditional love, support, and guidance.
Flashback: the mental, physical, and/or emotional reliving of a previously
blocked-out traumatic event
Forced Object Penetration: is penetration of a sexual orifice (anus or vagina) by a finger (digitally) and/or a non-animate object (bottles, broomsticks,
knives, guns, etc.).
is anal or oral intercourse without consent.
Child Sexual Exploitation: What is child sexual exploitation? Child sexual exploitation can involve the following: Possession,
manufacture and distribution of child pornography; online enticement of children for sexual acts; child prostitution; child
sex tourism and; child sexual molestation or other activities for the benefit of others.These activities are to the detriment
of the child's physical or mental health, education, or spiritual, moral or social-emotional development.
Depression : A condition of feeling sadness that may
include symptoms such as hopelessness, loss of appetite, sleep disruption, anxiety, low energy, poor concentration, inability
to feel pleasure, and thoughts of self-injury or suicide. There are many manifestations of depression, including self-mutilation,
substance abuse, and eating or sleeping disorders.
Gang Rape: is when two or more offenders act together to rape the same victim. The offenders include those who
actually obtain sexual relations with the victim as well as those who threaten or use force to make the victim submit but
do not themselves have sexual relations.
Indecent Exposure: (sometimes referred to as “flashing”) refers to an individual exposing sexual body parts
to another when it is unwanted and unasked for.
Incest: Any overtly sexual act between people who are closely related or who perceive themselves as being closely related (as
in relationship between in-laws, stepsiblings and stepparents, and close family friends). In addition to physical sexual contact
this can include voyeurism, masturbation in front of the child, suggestive talk, provocative photography, showing the child
pornography, exposing oneself to the child, etc. Incest results from a breakdown in the family and creates emotional isolation,
anxiety, confusion about family roles and boundaries, guilt, shame, fear, and a host of other symptoms.
(sometimes referred to as "flashing") refers to an individual exposing sexual body parts to another when it is unwanted and
Maltreatment: An action
or lack of action by a parent, caretaker or other person, as defined under state law, having caused physical abuse, medical
neglect, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse harm, or risk of harm to a child.
: An excited mood that may result in mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganized
thoughts, and erratic behavior; symptoms may include an extreme feeling of well being, irritability, racing thoughts, less
need for sleep, rapid speech, impulsiveness, recklessness, and in severe cases, psychosis and hallucinations
Marital Rape: commonly includes anal and vaginal intercourse,
combined with domestic violence- slapping, kicking, punching, burning, etc. Many women are forced into submitting to sex after
being beaten or verbally abused. Over half of sexually abused wives have been forced to have sex when they were ill, or after
coming home from the hospital with a newborn. Many women do not perceive themselves as having been forced into having sex,
because they were not threatened or physically forced into it- only coerced (begging and pleading until they give in) they
often don't define that as rape. Other physical problems that result include missed periods, leaking of urine, anal or vaginal
stretching and bleeding, bladder infections and infertility.
Mental programming: methodical conditioning of a dissociated trauma victim's mind. It can include implanting suggestions
deeply into the mind, creating false "worlds" and "systems of altered states" in the mind through visualization and hypnosis,
and more. The end result of mental programming is to create compliant altered states of consciousness that will comply
with specific commands and specific individuals.
Mind control: external control of a victim's mind, and therefore, his/her body and life
Moral and Spiritual Development: During adolescence, youth begin to question
the meaning of life and specifically to think about the larger world, the role they play in it, and the options and opportunities
available to them.
Pedophile: a person
who prefers sex with children, usually visualizing his/herself as being the same magical age as the child. Most pedophiles
are convinced that there is nothing wrong with having sex with children. These individuals usually believe that laws
forbidding adult sexual interactions with children - possibly including their own - are unfair and unjust. Some insist
that having sex "with" children is an expression of love for the children.
Perpetrator: a person who chooses to violently victimize others
Abuse : Physical abuse is characterized by the infliction of physical injury as a
result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking, or otherwise harming a child.
Post-traumatic stress disorder: Alternative Names (PTSD, posttraumatic stress
Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a condition resulting from a traumatic event outside the range of
a person's normal experience.
Rape/Sodomy: When a person engages in sexual intercourse (oral or anal) with another that is incapable of consent because of age
or other factors or by forcible compulsion.
Rape: the act of anal or vaginal sexual intercourse with a male or female person committed without the person's lawful consent.
Consent cannot be obtained by force such as physical force, threats, intimidation, or coercion
Aggravated Rape: the act of rape where resistance is overcome by force,
there are threats of bodily harm, the offender is armed with a weapon, two or more offenders participated in the act
Forcible Rape: the act of rape in which the victim is
prevented from resisting by force or threats of physical violence where the victim believes resistance would not prevent rape.
Simple Rape: the act of rape in which
the victim is prevented from resisting or of understanding the nature of the act due to intoxication by alcohol, narcotic,
or any other substance; or due to unsoundness of mind.
Sexual Battery: the intentional touching, whether with offender's body part, or an instrument, or object of some other
type, of the person of another, no matter how slight, in or on an area of the body generally recognized as being a private
part of the body; and/or the intentional touching of the offender's private body part anywhere on the other person's body.
Aggravated Sexual Battery: the act
of sexual battery where the offender intentionally inflicts serious bodily injury on the victim
Recovery: the process of healing from past traumas and their effects, while
building a healthier new life
Revictimized: a survivor who has removed his/herself from an abusive environment is harmed again by perpetrators.
Ritual abuse: abuse in environments, usually secretive,
in which a victim is ritualistically and methodically traumatized. Ritual abuse that is against the law, and is perpetrated
in a setting or environment in which occult religious items or rites are used to traumatize the victim
Sadism: the deliberate infliction of pain (mental, emotional
or physical) by one person on another for the pleasure of the abuser
Baby Syndrome: infants, babies or small children who suffer injuries or death from
severe shaking, jerking, pushing or puling may have been victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome. The act of shaking a baby is considered
physical abuse, as spinal, head and neck injuries often result from violently shaking young children.
Sexual Abuse : Sexual abuse includes fondling a child's
genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production
of pornographic materials. The American Academy of Pediatrics defines sexual abuse as "the engaging of
a child in sexual activities that the child can not comprehend, for which the child is developmentally unprepared and cannot
give informed consent, and/or that violate the social and legal taboos of society."
For more information, see Guidelines for the Evaluation of Sexual Abuse of Children: Subject Review. For more information
about reporting statutory rape, see Statutory Rape: A Guide to State Laws and Reporting Requirements
invasions of space: obscene phone calls, sexual harassment, looks/leers, catcalls,
Sexual harassment: a form of
gender discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct
of a sexual nature.
Sexual Misconduct is
defined as the “intentional touching of the victim's intimate parts (primarily genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttock,
or breast) without or against the victim's consent. This touching is either directly on the body part or on the clothing covering
that body part or if the victim is forced to touch the intimate areas of the perpetrator”.
Sexual violence: a sex act completed or attempted against a victim's will
or when a victim is unable to consent due to age, illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs. It may
involve actual or threatened physical force, use of guns or other weapons, coercion, intimidation or pressure. Sexual violence
also includes intentional touching of the genitals, anus, groin, or breast against a victim's will or when a victim is unable
to consent, as well as voyeurism, exposure to exhibitionism, or undesired exposure to pornography. The perpetrator of sexual
violence may be a stranger, friend, family member, or intimate partner.
a former abuse and/or trauma victim who has found a reasonable measure of safety.
Most survivors enter recovery to heal more fully.
Thriver: a trauma survivor who has reached the stage of recovery in which he/she is increasingly productive
and interactive with others, and finds life to be more enjoyable and fulfilling
Torture: severe, psychological and/or physical pain or discomfort deliberately
and forcibly inflicted on, or created within, the mind and/or body of another person or animal
Victim: a person who is still being abused, taken advantage of, and/or deliberately
traumatized by others - against his or her will
Victim's Advocate: The victims advocate is an individual who is designated, trained, and in place to quickly respond
to assist a victim of sexual assault. The VA’s mission is to support, assist, and guide the victim through the medical,
investigative, and judicial processes. The VA, however, must not make decisions or speak for the victim, or interfere with
the legitimate operations of the medical, investigative, and judicial processes. Use of a VA is not mandatory. The victim
will be informed of the availability of VA services and decide whether to accept the offer of services. A victim may choose
to seek help without the presence or assistance of a VA.
touch: grabbing, brushing against body, patting, pinching
Unwanted sexual touch: fondling of breasts and genitals,
molestation, forcing someone to perform sexual touch
some universal reactions to sexual assault?
Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense anxiety or
fear, where four (or more) of the following symptoms develop abruptly and peak within 10 minutes:
Shortness of Breath
Trembling or Shaking
Numb or Tingling Feelings
Fear of Dying
Feeling of Choking
Chest Pain or Discomfort
Nausea or Abdominal Pain
Inability to sit still, must be shaking leg or moving
of being All Alone or That Nobody Cares
Fear of Losing Control or Going Crazy
Feelings of Unreality, or of Being detached
Hot Flashes or Chills
Feeling Dizzy, Faint, Lightheaded, or Unsteady