Terminology

We recognise that not everyone agrees on terminology.

The National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse has used opinions based on many victims and survivors, and people with understanding and knowledge in these areas.

2021 – 2030

An initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments.

We use the terms;

  • child sexual abuse for any act that exposes a child or young person to, or involves a child or young person in, sexual activities that;

    • They do not understand

    • They do not or cannot consent to

    • Are not accepted by the community

    • Are unlawful

  • children and young people for people under the age of 18 years

  • children with harmful sexual behaviours for a broad range of sexual behaviours in children and young people. The includes behaviours that effect their own development, as well as behaviours that are coercive, sexually aggressive or predatory to others.

  • offender for a person who is found by a court to have done something unlawful

  • perpetrator for an adult who has sexually abused a child or young person, but who may or may not have been convicted of this crime.

  • victims and survivors for those who have experienced child sexual abuse. We recognise that not all people with lived experience of child sexual abuse will identify with these terms.