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My dad likes to touch me. Is this sexual abuse?

272 Answers
Last Updated: 12/23/2021 at 6:04am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Elena Morales, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I believe silence creates a cycle. With empathic and collaborative therapy, we break the cycle. I help clients feel validated and supported passed anger, shame, and anxiety.

Top Rated Answers
July 20th, 2018 6:59pm
Well consider asking yourself this: does it make you uncomfortable? Family members often show affection but if you believe that your dad is going too far express your discomfort.
August 11th, 2018 2:18am
it depends, before anything I just want to tell you that all fathers want for their kids is to be happy and comfortable around them. no one can answer this question besides your dad's actions. 1-mention to him that it makes you uncomfortable. 2- talk about parents sexually abusing their and see how he reacts, does he have an excuse for these parents? 3- think about this, if your mother had touched you in the same way, would you feel threatened? or sexually abused? you could be having these thoughts just because of the gender 1-
February 7th, 2019 9:56pm
Well that depends. Some dads just like to embrace their loved ones and feel close to them on a physical level with no sexual desires behind that. They stroke your hair, your skin and there is nothing bad behind that, as long as you are feeling comfortable with the situation. If the touch is clearly sexual, like repeatedly touching erogenous zones, grinding movements in intricate areas, then I would say this counts as sexual abuse. I any case you should tell him, if you feel uncomfortable by his touch. When people start developing a sexual identity they tend to realize certain touches as unpleasent, just like your shame develops over time. Your Dad which accompanied you since your birth, saw you naked and cleaned you up on a regular basis in your past will have to adjust to this new boundaries you (can) set. In the end, as long as he respects your decision, all is fine :)
November 19th, 2019 7:21am
Easy answer...NO. Physical contact between a father and daughter is a natural thing. Fathers wash, dress cuddle and love their daughters and physical contact and being able to express emotion is a positive thing for any child of either gender and should be encourages as part of learning how to express and receive emotion. Simple answer to a simple question. Growing up without that leaves people feeling uncared for and unable to express how they feel in return or uncomfortable to be able to do so. The only time its not ok is if it makes you feel ok, then it becomes a personal choice.
November 29th, 2019 2:02am
If you don't want him to touch you, if it's not with consent, then yes, it is sexual abuse. We encourage you to seek some help, go to the police and tell someone you trust, because that's a very serious crime. Also, it's important you seek professional mental health care, because such things can have a serious impact on your mental health. And if you need anything, don't hesitate on contacting a listener here or an online therapist. Take care of yourself and if you feel comfortable, you can look for some online support group of sexual abuse to help you find your strength.
May 13th, 2020 3:39pm
Depends on how he is touching you! If he is touching your no-no spaces, than hell yes, that is sexual abuse/molestation! Sexual abuse sucks and some places seem to THRIVE off it. It's disgusting. Tell someone about this, your mother or grandmother. Anyone that could help you. Do not let this go on for to long before he decides to do something that will forever damage you! Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is abusive sexual behavior by one person upon another. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another. When force is immediate, of short duration, or infrequent, it is called sexual assault.
June 21st, 2020 10:04am
Well, are you okay with your dad touching you, and is it more of a bond or a sexual thing. Do you feel comfortable with him doing theses things. Do what makes you feel comfortable and put and end to anything bothering you. Have you always had a relationship with your dad? Such as do you think these things are normal. If your dad is do anything without consent from you talk to someone trusted and get their advice. Do what ever makes you feel best and makes you have a good relationship. Do what you want not what he wants.
June 28th, 2020 12:10am
If you are under the age of consent and he is touching you in a sexual way this is child sexual abuse. If he is touching you in private places this is sexual abuse. If you tell him no or that you don't like how or where he is touching you this is sexual abuse. If he makes you touch him back this is sexual abuse. If he tells you "don't tell anyone" or "If you tell anyone, no one will believe you" it is most likely that he is sexually abusing you. If you recognise any of the points I made above you need to tell someone that it is happening. Don't let anyone scare you into keeping it to yourself. You have done nothing wrong. If how he is touching you feels wrong,sexual or hurts it is something that probably shouldn't be happening.
July 1st, 2020 8:27am
It depends where and the way he touches you. If he hugs around the shoulder, holds hand, gives a pat on the back or on the head, nudges you with his elbow, that's fine, it's just fatherly. If the way he is touching you is like caressing you and feels sensual and you feel really uncomfortable, it is a form of sexual abuse. Like a spank on the but, or his hands around your waist isn't okay. Sexual abuse isn't necessarily him touching your sexual parts, it's him touching you inappropriately and you feeling uncomfortable. If he's touching your private parts, it is definitely sexual abuse.
July 10th, 2020 5:01am
It depends. Where is he touching you? If it is in the bathing suit area, then yes, that is abuse. If it is in a more innocuous area, such as the arms for example, then it could still be abuse depending on why your dad is doing it. Does he seem aroused? Is it part of a fetish? If so, it may be abuse. If the purpose is not for arousal, then there is one more question to ask. Have you told him this makes you uncomfortable and he continues to do it? In this case, it may be harassment. If the touching is on an innocent body part, is not for the purpose of arousal, and does not make you uncomfortable then everything is ok!
September 11th, 2020 10:51am
Sexual abuse does not have to involve sex, penetration, or nudity. Any time an adult or older person touches or handles a minor inappropriately, even if the minor doesn't seem to notice or mind, is problematic. Hugging, "playing," rubbing, lap-sitting, and any other physical contact might be considered abusive. Remember, sexual abuse need not involve touch at all—a minor can be sexually abused with words only, for example, or with a camera. It’s up to parents, family members, and friends to keep an eye out for the "grooming" behaviors in the adults who come into contact with a their minors.
August 26th, 2021 4:03pm
Generally, if anyone touches you and you feel very uncomfortable as a result, it is abuse. With a father in question, it might be important to also understand in what places he touches and if his intentions are malicious. But regardless of his intentions, if the way he touched you is making you question if it is sexual abuse then it is clearly making you uncomfortable. The next step you can take is to tell someone you trust, or if you're feeling brave enough then actually confront him about it and make it clear that you do not like being touched.
October 27th, 2021 4:55pm
If any person does something to you that you are NOT comfortable with, that is abuse. If they're inappropriately touching you, that is abuse. Your boundaries should not be crossed by anybody, family or not. Please remember that NONE of this is your fault. It can be hard to accept that someone close to you could be hurting you in such a way, but no matter what, this isn't your fault. You are not to blame at all for what is happening to you. Please try and seek help from your country or state, especially if you are under 18. It will get better. Don't be afraid to reach out.
June 13th, 2016 11:34pm
It is sexual abuse and you should come to talk to someone of your entire trust so they can help you to get out of this situation asap!
June 15th, 2016 4:17am
Depending on where and how he touches you, then it can be sexual assault. But bottom line is if he is making you uncomfortable ask him to stop and if he does not then report it to someone who can do something and someone u can trust.
June 16th, 2016 4:37am
ANY unwanted sexual contact, including kissing, fondling, or touching is sexual assault. It does not matter whether or not penetration is involved. And ALL cases of sexual assault are serious.
June 16th, 2016 5:23am
It depends on the way he is touching you. if it is sexual and inappropriate then yes it is. If this is the case you should seek professional help immediately. i recommend calling the police or telling a teacher / trusted adult.
June 16th, 2016 8:27am
If he touches you without verbal consent then yes it is sexual abuse. If you give him any verbal consent to touching you than no it is not sexual abuse. Don't be afraid to say no and speak out.
June 17th, 2016 7:30am
If he touches you on your private parts without your consent, then yes it is sexual abuse. Let your mother know about it. If it doesn't help then please report it to Sexual Abuse Hotline
June 18th, 2016 8:14pm
If you feel like he is touching you in an inappropriate way, then please confide in an adult you trust and they will help you settle it. Sexual abuse is not okay.
June 22nd, 2016 3:07pm
Yes, it is. It is inappropriate for anyone to touch you without your permission. You have a variety of options. You can say something to a trusted adult, or say something to your dad. I know none of this is easy. If you need to talk through this with someone use the live chat and they will connect you with a listener. You can also choose to talk to me about it. I am sorry this is happening to you. We are here to listen.
June 22nd, 2016 5:49pm
If it makes you feel physically uncomfortable and you have told him to stop and he persists ...then yes.
June 30th, 2016 12:13am
If he touches you in a way that is inappropriately invasive then yes, that is sexual abuse and you should talk to someone.
July 7th, 2016 7:07am
If you did not consent for your dad to touch you, then yes it is sexual abuse. It is never okay for someone to touch you against your will. Check out
July 9th, 2016 9:48pm
It is. for one thing, it is incest, which is illegal in the United States. Also, if it isn't consensual, it is sexual abuse.
July 10th, 2016 2:51pm
Depends on how it makes you feel, and where he's touching you. If he is making you uncomfortable, tell someone!
July 14th, 2016 7:53am
It depends on how he touches you and where. If its a simple touch between father and child and he is simply showing familial affection, then that is not sexual abuse. If he touches you anywhere inappropriate and makes you feel uncomfortable then yes it is,
July 15th, 2016 10:16am
Not entirely, but if he's touching anywhere thats inappropriate you should definetely tell someone about it.
July 15th, 2016 7:04pm
If he's touching you inappropriately and you don't like it, yes it is. If not, he's probably just expressing care and concern in one of the ways he knows how to.
July 16th, 2016 8:40pm
YES any type of touching in "private" areas or anything your uncomfortable with is abuse. Talk to someone you can trust. A listener or 7cups or someone at school or home. Always know you are not alone. This is not your fault and you deserve for this to stop.