What is the Difference Between Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault?

Abuse vs Assault

Sexual abuse and sexual assault are both serious and egregious crimes. Victims of abuse and assault are entitled to take civil action against their perpetrators, regardless of criminal charges, and seek compensation for all related damages. If you have been the victim of any kind of sexual mistreatment, the Cifarelli Law Firm is here to listen to your story and provide honest information about the best path forward.

Assault or Abuse?

Both sexual assault and sexual abuse may include:

  • Unwanted touching
  • Non-consensual groping or fondling
  • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts
  • Other unwanted physical acts

Sexual abuse may also include the showing of sexual pictures or using sexually aggressive language. It often occurs at the hands of a trusted adult, teacher, or mentor, and most often refers to the sexual mistreatment of children. Children are not legally able to consent to sexual acts. Any sexual activity that an adult performs on or towards a child is a form of sexual abuse.

Sexual assault typically refers to the sexual mistreatment of an adult and is often physical. However, emotional abuse can fall under sexual assault in certain cases. Both attempted rape and rape are forms of sexual assault. As are all forms of force and coercion – physical, psychological, and emotional – for sexual purposes.

Both abuse and assault can come from people known by the victim or complete strangers. Both can have a profound impact on the health and happiness of the victim. Both deserve the attention of a thoughtful and compassionate law firm with a proven history of helping those impacted by these crimes.

We Are Here to Help

The lawyers at the Cifarelli Law Firm have a proud history of representing children and adults in sexual assault and abuse cases. Attentive, intentional, and sympathetic, we take time to listen to victims of sexual mistreatment and build strong cases on their behalf to help secure the most favorable outcomes for our clients.

If you need assistance, please call us right away at 949-502-8600 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our lawyers. Located in Irvine, we accept cases from Los Angeles and all surrounding areas of California.

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Office Information

7700 Irvine Center Drive Suite 150
Irvine, CA 92618

Office Hours

Monday-Friday: 8:30am - 5:30pm

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