Redefining child sexual abuse: from a legal to a psychosocial perspective

16 February 2015

In order to effectively help traumatised children to achieve positive outcomes, one must have a clearly defined methodology, underpinned by theory and based on an integrated approach. The first step towards this is clearly to redefine the phenomenon of the sexual abuse of children. As sexual abuse is both a legal and a psychosocial phenomenon, the authors are of the opinion that the South African context necessitates a more integrative definition. The information in this article is therefore aimed at providing health care professionals with an integrative definition that takes into account both the South African legal definition of sexual abuse and the underlying psychosocial factors with which it is associated.