It is possible to define sexual abuse in very different ways. A satisfactory general definition can be that “the involvement of immature individuals and dependent in sexual activity, subjects who lack awareness of their actions and the ability to choose. Fall in abuse of ​​sexual activity in violation of social taboos on family roles even with the acceptance of the minor. ”

The fundamental aspect is represented by the condition of the victim, unable to choose or to correctly understand what is happening or what is proposed. In the case of sexual abuse you are in the presence it when the person involved in the report sexualized is unable to grasp the deep meaning of what is being done on her/him, or the real and lasting consequences that can bring. We talk about sexual abuse, even in cases where the person is never physically touched, but is exposed to the viewing or listening to stories of sexual content not appropriate to the age or the relationship with the abuser.

In the most obvious and cruel cases, the person who suffers from sexual abuse is unable to act freely as placed within a relationship, for example through the use of threats or physical force.

Because of the source of the harassment, sexual abuse within the family produces, in principle, more severe effects than those produced from abuse occurred outside the household. Most of intrafamilial sexual abuse is done by the fathers, and secondly by cohabiters in the household (grandparents, uncles, stepfathers, etc.), and in much smaller percentage, from their mothers (about 7% of cases).

Clinical research indicates that sexual abuse within a family can produce more serious damage, especially when the following characteristics are present

  • an intense bond with the person making the abuse;
  • a long duration of abuse;
  • abuse remains hidden or is not recognized by the family;
  • the abused person is not able to speak of what
  • the abused person is still a child.

Sexual abuse, especially within the family, can certainly lead to many psychological problems, difficult to resolve them spontaneously throughout life.


The English term stalking is a set of behaviors and continued harassment. Stalking consist of continuous or near the home of the common areas frequently visited by the victim followed by repeated intrusions into his private life in search of a personal contact by means of shadowing, obscene phone or unwanted calls.

It also includes sending letters, cards, e-mail, SMS and objects not required. More difficult is the attribution of the crime of stalking in affectionate type of unsolicited messages – ​​especially by ex-partner or friends – that can vary depending on personal circumstances. Another case is the producing graffiti or vandalism with damage to property, permanently and obsessively, in a crescendo culminating in threats, verbal and written, sometimes degenerating into physical assaults with injury or even killing the victim.

All the aforesaid or any part of those if done in a persistent and tenacious way in order to induce fear and even physical or psychological distress in the victim, are acts of persecution and those who implement them are persecutor (a person who commits a criminal act which in some countries punished as such by law.

It differs from mere nuisance in terms of intensity, frequency and duration of  behavior.