Partners & Parents

Understanding Sexual Coercion and Sexual Assault

11 November, 2018 | DD Staff
  • Understanding Sexual Coercion and Sexual Assault
In Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Princess Aurora was kissed by Prince Phillip without her consent.

Watching your child experience emotional and physical pain is one of the hardest things for a parent to endure.

In many cultures, talking about sex and entertaining the idea of a teen relationship is frowned upon. That doesn’t take away the fact that the teen years are about exploring relationships and your child is likely to be the victim of an unhealthy relationship.

As a father, take the time to comprehend the nuances of sexual conduct and help your child understand the essence of a loving, supportive relationship.

An important thing to remember is, your child doesn’t have to be under the age of 18 to receive your guidance, love, understanding and support. Assault can happen at any age and keeping lines of communication open is an important first step to educating them.

Daddy’s Digest has put together a quick outline of the need to know facts.

1. By definition, sexual coercion is the act of using pressure, alcohol or drugs, or force, to have sexual contact with someone against his or her will. It also includes persistent attempts to have sexual contact with someone who has already refused.

2. Coercion ranges from verbal cues laden with emotional pressure to someone physically forcing themselves upon another. Some examples of coercive behavior include being badgered, threatened, emotionally blackmailed, being made to feel like you owe someone, normalizing and rationalizing sexual expectations, being drugged and even being given insincere compliments.

3. Being coerced into sex and assaulted is wrong at any age and stage of a relationship. No caregiver or teacher; family member; boyfriend or girlfriend; romantic interest AND co-worker or boss should ever be allowed to have any kind of sexual contact without the person’s permission.

4. This also includes husbands, wives, lesbian or gay partners and common-law partners. Marital rape is wrong and many (but not all) countries have criminalized it.  

As a parent you can:

1. Talk to your child about peer pressure; consent, conduct & misconduct; birth control & contraception and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

2. Encourage your child to talk to other trusted adults if they aren’t comfortable talking to you. This could be a teacher, a school counsellor, a friend’s parent(s) and even other family members.

3. If your child is under 18, monitor their online activities, get to know their friends and make an effort to stay current on what is happening in your child’s world (What is Snapchat? What is Sexting? What is the Momo Challenge?)

Our guide outlines the facts based on research from several online and offline resources. If you are in doubt or worried about your child for any reason, consult with a qualified and certified mental health professional.

Reviewed by: Dr. Melanie Schlatter

Date reviewed: 14th November, 2018

Related articles:

How to Protect Your Child from Predators

Raising Sons in the age of #MeToo & #TimesUp

Male Victims of Abuse

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