Sexual Abuse

The law defines [RCW 74.34.020(2)(a)] sexual abuse as any form of nonconsensual sexual contact, including but not limited to unwanted or inappropriate touching, rape, sodomy, sexual coercion, sexually explicit photographing, and sexual harassment. Sexual abuse includes any sexual contact between a staff person, who is not also a resident or client, of a facility or a staff person of a program authorized under chapter 71A.12 RCW, and a vulnerable adult living in that facility or receiving service from a program authorized under chapter 71A.12 RCW, whether or not it is consensual.  Any incident originating prior to 7/24/2015 must apply the old definition above.  Any incident originating on or after 7/24/2015 must apply the new definition below.

Effective 7/24/2015 (SSB 5600): “Sexual abuse” means any form of nonconsensual sexual conduct including, but not limited to, unwanted or inappropriate touching, rape, sodomy, sexual coercion, sexually explicit photographing, and sexual harassment.  Sexual abuse includes any sexual conduct between a staff person, who is not also a resident or client, of a facility or a staff person of a program authorized under Chapter 71A.12 RCW, and a vulnerable adult living in that facility or receiving service from a program authorized under Chapter 71A.12 RCW, whether or not it is consensual.

Possible sexual abuse indicators

The following are signs and symptoms that may indicate that sexual abuse is occurring or has occurred:

  • Statements that sexual abuse is occurring
  • Unexplained bleeding, wounds, or pain from orifices
  • Bruising around genital area
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted disease
  • Painful urination or defecation
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Pregnancy
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Regressive behaviors
  • Fearful bathing
  • Self-destructive behaviors

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