* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.
Although many of us are aware of the behaviors that go along with sexual abuse, oftentimes, we don’t know what to call the people performing these abusive acts.
Because there are some many different types of sexual abuse, a lot of them domestic, we’re unsure of what to name the predators.
Do the specific names change according to the type of sexual abuse performed? If you’ve found yourself looking for these answers, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we take a look at some of the most common names for people who are sexually abusive, as well as the different kinds of sexual abuse.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse can be difficult to define, as it actually covers a plethora of different kinds of abuse. Some people’s experience of sexual abuse might be completely different to anothers, and they’re all valid.
To place sexual abuse under an umbrella statement, it’s when one party engages in sexual acts with another without their direct consent.
When it comes to sexual activity, both partners need to be okay with what’s happening, otherwise, this can be classified as sexual abuse.
Oftentimes, sexual abuse can be violent in nature. It is typically instigated by a male, forcing themselves upon a female who they deem to be physically weaker.
Psychologists say that these violent acts are not driven by an increased sex drive, but rather, a desire to control the victim, as well as cause them humiliation.
Sexually violent acts are almost always conducted by men, and demonstrate that patriarchal society is still an oppressive and fearful space for women.
For example, in Israel, thousands of women are entering rape crisis centers as a result of the abuse suffered by their husbands.
Indeed, much of the time, sexual abuse is domestic in nature, and is performed by somebody that the woman already knows and is perhaps in relationship with.
What Do You Call A Sexually Abusive Person?
When it comes to naming somebody who is sexually abusive, it’s all dependent on the type of sexual abuse that took place.
For example, if somebody were to abuse a minor, they would be called a child sexual abuser. They would not be called a pedophile, despite their behavior, as such an assessment would require diagnostic assessment.
In regards to other kinds of sexual abuse, most people who have conducted these acts are simply referred to as sexual abusers, or sometimes molesters.
What Does Sexual Abuse Look Like Domestically?
When it comes to defining sexual abuse in a domestic sense, there are a lot of different warning signs that the victim needs to look out for.
Some of the behaviors that the victim experiences might not initially be regarded as sexually abusive, because they’re so used to the acts taking place.
Sexual abuse in a domestic relationship can pertain to a victim being forced to watch pornography against their will.
In addition to this, some abusers might forcefully push the victim to pose naked themselves, whilst they take photographs of them.
These photos or videos are then used as a means of blackmailing the victim, and the abuser might threaten to send them to friends and family members.
Sometimes, the sexually abusive party will take control of the victims appearance. Some will force them to dress in a way that is sexually suggestive and makes them uncomfortable.
Oftentimes, the sexual acts that take place between the victim and the abuser will be the result of alcohol or drug consumption.
Sometimes, abusers will purposefully give the victim alcohol or drugs, so that it’s impossible for them to resist the sexually abusive acts.
On an even more serious level, some abusers will forcefully rape their partners, or even purposefully hurt them during the act itself.
Some abusers will give their partners sexually transmitted diseases, and this can be incredibly dangerous, and could potentially be a health crisis for the victim.
Finally, domestic sexual abuse can involve a third party that the abuser has asked to take part.
The victim may be forced into having sex with another person, or having another person watch them perform sexual acts.
Sexually Coercive Acts
The acts outlined above are blatant examples of sexual abuse in a domestic sense. But, sometimes, the lines can become blurred in abusive relationships.
The abuser may not always be forceful when it comes to engaging in sexually abusive acts, but instead, use coercion as a tool.
This might look like pressuring the victim into sexual acts, even though they don’t want to.
This pressure could come in the form of telling the victim that they owe the abuser sex, or making them feel bad if they refuse.
One of the most common ways that abusers manipulate their victims is by making them feel guilty for not participating in the sexual act, by acting as though they’re unjust, and reframing themselves to appear as the wronged party.
They might get angry if you refuse sex, and the fear can then drive the victim to comply.
Sometimes the abuser will offer outright threats, and tell the victim that if they don’t have sex with them, that something bad will happen to them or family members.
Finally, sexual coercion doesn’t even have to involve a sexual act taking place.
Instead sexual coercion can be as simple as the abuser sexualizing the victim, and calling them inappropriate, or derogatory names with the aim of humiliating them.
Signs That You’re In An Abusive Relationship
There are lots of signs to look out for when it comes to sexually abusive relationships.
As well as the ones that we mentioned above, sexual abuse is often accompanied by anther form of abuse too.
Some sexually abusive partners may also by physically abusive, in the sense that they hurt their victims through acts such as slapping, kicking or punching.
Other sexually abusive partners will be psychologically abusive, and exert control over their victims by threatening them, or isolating them from family members.
Psychological abuse often entails behavior called ‘gaslighting’, which is a tactic used to make the victim feel as though they’re losing touch with reality, and subsequently place all their trust in their abuser.
Finally, economic abuse also accompanies sexual abuse in some cases. This means that the abusive party exerts complete control over the victims finances, giving them allowances, or denying them access to their bank accounts.
This places severe restrictions on the victim’s ability to gain independence outside of the relationship.
To sum up, somebody who is sexually abusive can be referred to as a sexual abuser. When, however, the abuse that’s taking place involves a minor, the perpetrator will be called a child sexual abuser.
Sexual abuse takes on many forms, and demonstrates a whole host of different behaviors. It’s important to educate ourselves on these warning signs, both for ourselves and those around us.
Continue Reading about Domestic Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence
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