Childhood sexual abuse is any physical, visual or verbal interaction with a minor by an older person whose purpose is sexual stimulation or sexual satisfaction.
- Abuse means mistreatment, using something or someone in an inappropriate manner.
- Abuse is intentional, not accidental.
- Abuse results in emotional, mental and/or physical harm.
The word abuse in Hebrew is chalal, which means “to do harm, to defile.”
Who does this? Sexual abuse of a child is almost always committed by someone the child knows or with whom the child has frequent contact, such as: family member, family friend, babysitter, teacher, doctor, institutional worker, mother’s live-in boyfriend or transient suitor, neighbor, coach, church leader, older friend, playmate’s older siblings, daycare worker.
The Bible is not silent about inappropriate sexual interaction: “He lies in wait like a lion in cover; he lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.” (Psalm 10:9)
Hunt, J. (2008). Biblical Counseling Keys on Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Secret Storm. Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart.