Q: I just had a real quick question if you happen to find the time… I’m 17 and a couple years ago after my parents divorced, my dad did everything but have sex with me. I’ve always wondered if this counts as sexual abuse – I used to defend him against peoples’ accusations, but now I’m just confused…

A: I assume you mean he touched your genitals or breasts or his own genitals but he did not penetrate you. If this is what happened, YES what he did was Definitely sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse among adults is any sexual activity that is forced against the other person’s will.

Sexual abuse between adults and children is any sexual activity. Period. (I have known people whose parents only leered at them inappropriately during the teen years, and yet they suffered in some of the same ways as those whose parents repeatedly raped them. And it’s clear your father did much more to you than this.)

I am so sorry this happened to you!

Please get professional help now while you are young. (Your parents need to pay for your therapy, of course. If they can’t pay, call a Family Service Agency in your area. If they can’t help you call the local Mental Health Association. These agencies work with people who can’t afford therapy.)

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