While the exact legal definition of sexual abuse may vary depending on local laws, the American Psychological Association (APA) defines sexual abuse as, "unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats, or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent."
While exact laws and wording vary by state in the U.S., in general, individuals that are not able to give consent can be understood to include individuals that are under the age of consent, individuals under the effects of drugs or alcohol, and individuals that are asleep or unconscious. Many states also have laws stating that individuals under the custody of law enforcement or the care of mental health professionals are not able to consent to sexual activities with said professionals due to the power structure inherent in these situations.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) uses the umbrella term "sexual violence" in a similar, non-legal way, to refer to all types of sexual violence, of which it defines sexual abuse as a subset. Some other categories of sexual violence according to RAINN include sexual assault, intimate partner sexual violence, stalking, and drug-facilitated sexual assault. According to both the APA and RAINN, most victims of sexual abuse and sexual violence know their perpetrator.
Monarch does not employ any provider and is not responsible for the conduct of any provider listed on our site. All information in member profiles, and messages are created from data provided by the providers and not generated or verified by Monarch. As a user, you need to perform your own diligence to ensure the provider you choose is appropriate for your needs and complies with applicable laws and licensure requirements. Monarch is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.
Monarch assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable, for the quality or any other aspect of the services a provider may provide to you, nor will Monarch be liable for any act, omission or wrongdoing committed or allegedly committed by any provider.
Articles and information and assessments posted on Monarch are for informational purposes only, and it is not intended to diagnose or treat any health conditions. Treatment and diagnosis should be performed by an appropriate health care provider.
IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY, DO NOT USE MONARCH. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, OR THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE OR HARMING YOURSELF OR OTHERS, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY OR ANOTHER APPLICABLE EMERGENCY NUMBER.