Elder Abuse is Wrong: Sexual Abuse
Claire hasn't touched her dinner. It's like this every night now. She hasn't been happy since her nephew, Louis, came to live with her. The doctors insisted that she needed someone to look after her. It all seemed to make sense: Louis could help her with her errands and the house, and there would be somebody around overnight.
But Louis was so much more than she had bargained for! She dreads it when he calls her into the living room in the evenings. She doesn't want to remember how he forced her to do it the first time, but now he expects her to touch him in a sexual way while he reads dirty magazines. She feels sick with shame. But when she refused to do it, he hit her. Then he told her that if she made any trouble, he would push her down the stairs and leave her for dead. Everyone would think it was an accident.
Claire is getting really scared. It doesn't seem like anyone comes to the house any more. She's starting to think she should call the police. It's hard to imagine calling so much attention to things, but it may not be safe to wait to talk to someone else!
What does it look like?
Sexual abuse involves any unwanted sexual touching or activity. This can include:
- Kissing, fondling or sexual intercourse without consent
- Continuing sexual contact when asked to stop
- Being forced to commit unsafe or degrading sexual acts.
Sexual assault is a crime in Canada. Even when you are married, it is a crime to force any sexual conduct on another person.
Other sexual offences include sexual exploitation of children and of persons with a disability.
What can I do?
- Talk to someone you trust
- Call a sexual assault crisis line
- Consult a nurse, social worker or doctor
- Call the police
- In an emergency, call 9-1-1
- See the police to get a criminal order (or "peace bond") to keep the abuser away from you.
If you are being sexually assaulted you may need to go to a safe place and seek help. Consider reporting the assault to the police and going to the hospital.
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