Would you call this sexual abuse?

Questions and discussion about sexual or other abuse or assault, and support and help for survivors.
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Justyne
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Would you call this sexual abuse?

Unread postby Justyne » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:14 pm

My friend and I were talking about past experiences today and she told me that when she was 16 she gave a blowjob to a 12 year old. She even said that she was surprised that the boy had an orgasm because she thought he was too young.
Yes, both of them were under age but wasn't she wrong in doing this? Would a 12 year old even know what was going on? Is this something that could be considered curiosity for a 12 year old? I don't know anything else about the boy or this story because I changed topics midway, but I am wondering what others think about this.

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Re: Would you call this sexual abuse?

Unread postby Mo » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:00 pm

It is possible for sexual abuse to happen between two people who are underage, yes, and a 12 year old wouldn't be in a position to be capable of consent. A 12 year old might be curious about sex but it doesn't mean they're able to consent to it, and at this age a four-year gap between people involved is pretty significant; it might be hard for someone to feel comfortable say no, or feeling free to say no, in that situation.
Also, if you're talking purely from a legal standpoint, this would count as a situation where consent could not be given.

Justyne
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Re: Would you call this sexual abuse?

Unread postby Justyne » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:36 pm

Thanks Mo. Yes, I was thinking the same way, but I also wasn't 100% sure. The 16 year old is now 20, and a good friend, but I do find what she did very disturbing.

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Re: Would you call this sexual abuse?

Unread postby Heather » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:50 am

I do want to stick my nose into this to say a couple quick things.

1) I think it's really hard to determine who is same-sexual-and-emotional-level, or at least, level enough that people can be sexual together in a way where it's fully consensual and no one is being exploited. Our legal system mostly only considers that for young people when it comes to age-in-years, which isn't the best rubric for this, especially when it is the ONLY rubric (not considering say, intellectual capacity, or varying interpersonal positions of power and vulnerability: like, how/in what context did your friend even meet this person?). It is possible that a 12 year old and 16 year old CAN be sexual in ways that are consensual, but like Mo said, I'd agree that in the grand scheme of things, that can be a pretty wide age -- and often also life experience -- gap, so it'd be pretty unlikely. And for sure, in many areas, that likely was probably outside age of consent laws, besides.

2) What do YOU want to do about this? It's tough when a friend shares something like this, especially if it's being shared in a way where either it doesn't seem like they have any awareness they may be talking about an abuse they engaged in OR if they do seem aware and are talking like it doesn't matter or, as sometimes can happen, are even bragging about it.

Do you want to talk to your friend about any of this? Do you want to set a boundary with them of some kind? What do you need, and how can we help you figure out where to take this from here?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead


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