The Sexual Offences Act of 2003 outlines the offence of committing sexual assault against a child. There are two types of child sexual abuse. There’s contact abuse, which involves physical contact with the child, and there’s non-contact abuse, which involves sexual activities of a non-physical nature.
Examples of contact abuse include:
- Sexual touching of any part of the child’s body, whether they are clothed or not.
- Rape with an object or body part.
- Forcing a child to touch yourself or a third party in a sexual way.
Examples of non-contact abuse include:
- Grooming and meeting a child with the intent of sexually assaulting them
- Forcing a child to be involved in sexual acts in any way
- Making, viewing or distributing any type of images portraying child abuse
- Allowing someone else to make, view of distribute any type of images portraying child abuse
- Showing a child any type of pornography
Official definitions of sexual assault of a child
In England, sexual assault of a child is defined as:
“Forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening”
In Northern Ireland, it is defined as:
“Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities”
In Scotland, it is defined as:
“Any act that involves the child in any activity for the sexual gratification of another person, whether or not it is claimed that the child either consented or assented”
In Wales, it is defined as:
“Forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening”
If you are arrested for any crime, including the sexual assault of a child, you must know your rights.