Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any form of sexual activity with a child by an adult, or by another child where there is no consent or consent is not possible; or by another child who has power over the child. By this definition, it is possible for a child to be sexually abused by another child who is older or younger than the victim.

Sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to, showing a child pornographic materials, placing the child’s hand on one’s genitals, touching a child’s genitals, and/or penetration of any orifice of a child’s body (mouth, vagina, anus) with a penis, finger, or an “proxy” object of any sort. Penetration does not have to occur for it to be sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse can take a number of different forms, including:

  • Enticing or forcing a child to engage in fondling, masturbation, oral or anal intercourse or sexual intercourse.
  • Making a child observe or act out inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Showing a child pornographic books, videos or photographs or engaging them in inappropriate discussion about sexual matters
  • Meeting a child following sexual “grooming”, which is when an abuser builds up a relationship with a child with the intention of abusing them at some stage.
  • It is impossible to describe a typical sex abuser; they do not look different to other people and they behave in a variety of ways; an abuser may be a man or woman or another child or adolescent

Research shows that children are more likely to be sexually abused by someone they know including relatives, family friends and people in positions of trust than by a stranger.

Children do not always tell about abuse and it can continue for years.

Dealing with the effects of sexual abuse is not something you need to do alone. The New Swindon Sanctuary SARC aim to help the recovery of any male or female, of any age, who has experienced rape or sexual abuse at any point in their life. We will give you information and help you explore the feelings you have. Choice always remains with you.

We can provide details about other services and agencies available.

You can make a formal report to the Police about sexual abuse at any time. You may decide you just want to give details of the incident to our ISVA; we can take these and pass them on anonymously. This may help with future prevention of attacks. You will not have to speak to the Police, or be identified, or have any examination at any time. Subject to our confidentiality clause  – please see below.

At The New Swindon Sanctuary SARC we offer a range of services to give you the best care possible. We can give you some choices and breathing space. We can offer counselling and support for recent and past incidents.

  • Do not despair or panic – we are here to help
  • We will support you at every step – you are our main concern



If you do give us your contact details or, provide identifiable information, we will usually keep your contact with us completely confidential. However, in certain circumstances we may have to share information with another agency (e.g. social services, police or the ambulance service) in order to protect you, or another person. This will apply if:-

•             you are a child or young person under 18  who has experienced, or is at risk of, serious harm or,
•             you provide information about a child or young person under 18 who has experienced, or is at risk of, serious harm or,
•             we feel you are a vulnerable adult who has experienced, or is at risk of, serious harm or,
•             you provide information about a  person we feel may be a vulnerable adult who has experienced, or is at risk of, serious harm.