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SEXUAL ABUSE: 5 Types of Sexual Abuse

by Mindy Lawrence

First Orlando Counseling in Orlando, Florida, defines five types of sexual abuse that exist -- verbal, covert, visual, physical, and ritual abuse. They define each of these.


Sexual jokes, teasing about physical characteristics, graphic sexual descriptions, name calling, comments on physical development, solicitation, unwanted romantic advances, sexting, and stalking with phone calls or other messages, etc. are examples of verbal abuse.


Covert abuse occurs when the abused is unaware of what is going on. This includes being observed, followed, photographed, social media stalking, sexual cyber-harassment. The perpetrator attempts to get some form of sexual satisfaction from the victim without their knowledge.


Examples of Visual Sexual Abuse can include unwanted or uninvited exposure to sexually explicit images, sexting/airdropping, exhibitionism/flashing, nudity, or improper dress at home, and performing sexual acts while non-consenting individuals are present.


Sexual abuse blended with some form of spirituality and ritual is called Ritual Abuse. Perpetrators often encourage or attempt to justify their actions as an act of penance or worship, to the target of their abuse. This type of abuse also can include child marriage, incest rituals, genital mutilation, and chants or incantations during abuse.

In all these areas, the victim loses the ability to say no or realize it needs to be said. Sexual abuse often includes covert actions without physical contact.

If you have experienced this kind of treatment, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to speak with someone in secret 24 hours a day.


5 Types of Sexual Abuse, First Orlando Counseling

RAINN Organization

Understanding Ritual Abuse, Strength to Heal



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