Parents, UT Teen Health

What Can You Do If You Suspect Adolescent Abuse?

Definition of sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is a sexual act between an adult and a child (any person younger than 17 years of age that is not the spouse of the abuser). It is when an adult engages in sexual contact with a child with the intent to arose or gratify the sexual desire of the adult. Sexual abuse includes a range of activities from showing pornographic images to forced sex. Remember that not all abusers are male, some can be female. For more information or to report an abuse situation call 1800 656-HOPE the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) hotline. [OMG! Learn more]

  • Offer unconditional support, and make sure your teen knows that you are there to listen to them and support them no matter what happens.
  • Help your teen identify the unhealthy behaviors and patterns in their relationship, and the difference between an abusive relationship and a healthy one.
  • Let your teen know that you are concerned for their safety, say things like: “You deserve to be in a relationship where you are treated with respect.” and “This is not your fault.”
  • For more support and information check out OMG!