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

272 Answers
Last Updated: 12/23/2021 at 6:04am
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United States
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Elena Morales, LMHC

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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
June 6th, 2020 3:49pm
There are a lot of nuances to sexual abuse, and abuse in general. Many questions need to be asked before you come to a final conclusion. Is this touching consensual? What is the nature of him touching you? When and how does this occur? If the touching is nonconsensual, that already presents a problem. Whether sexual or not, you have a right to your space and who gets to touch you. The nature of a touch depends on where it is and for how long, as well as considering the situation leading to it. Finally, a touch in public could be an embarrassment tactic - be wary of the context in which these touches occur, and in front of whom. I hope that you're okay!
July 5th, 2020 2:15pm
The touch of our parents is something that should make us feel safe and loved. A simple pat on the back or kiss on the cheek should make us feel appreciated and protected. It is common for our parents and dads to want to show their affection through physical contact. However, if your dad touches you in private places, or if his touch makes you feel uncomfortable, it is important to acknowledge your feelings and perhaps even voicing them out. It is possible that your dad only wants to show you his love through the power of touch but at the end of the day it is crucial that you feel comfortable about it.
August 13th, 2020 12:52am
Yes it is. His acts have an ulterior motive behind it and it could compromise your mental health and well-being in the long run. It can be hard to see that but it really is not safe for you as your dad can lead into doing other inappropriate actions to you. What matters most is how you are feeling and if you are not feeling comfortable, make it clear that what he is doing to you is not allowed without your permission. Please make sure to respect yourself, meaning that you should practice self-care, self-awareness, and self-love as this situation can be mentally taxing on you. You are loved.
August 19th, 2020 4:26pm
It sounds like it's possible, without knowing more about the context or type of touching it's hard to say. But if you feel uncomfortable with anything- anything at all- that's your system telling you that something is wrong, and needs to change. So I would definitely pay attention to that feeling, and know that it's completely valid to feel that way. You know you. Your feelings are important. If you can, try to write down some of what's going on and talk to yourself in a letter. What would you say? What would you say to a good friend who was feeling the same way you are? These are good ways to assess what's going on and what you can do.
August 26th, 2020 10:29pm
Sexual abuse is anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If your dad is touching you in a sexual way he is crossing your boundaries. Although he is your dad he is not entitled in any way to touch you in places that make you uncomfortable. This is not something any person should go through alone. If you have a friend or family member you trust to disclose this information with they can help you navigate through your healing process. There are many resources that can provide you support throughout this time. Please, seek local resources to begin your journey to healing.
August 28th, 2020 7:07pm
short answer no, longer answer it depends, if he's just hugging you or a pat in the back then no but if he's making you uncomfortable, if he's touching you inappropriately, if he's kissing on you or making sexual remarks while touching you than yes it is sexual abuse. if you've told him to stop and he continues. if he talks about you In a sexual manner then. there's a lot that goes into determining if something is sexual or not a simple touch or hug can just be boundaries issue but if he is being sexual or you just feel as if he's intentions are bad then yes it can be sexual abuse
September 10th, 2020 3:47pm
If this is not consensual it is sexual abuse. It is illegal and if you are negatively influenced by these actions then it it not ok. It should never happen and you must be careful around him because it is not ok what he is doing to you. If you are uncomfortable or upset about your father touching you and if it is not consensual then I assure you, it most definitely sexual abuse, sexual harassment and depending on you're circumstances, may be rape. And it is also incestual. Please stay safe and be careful. Report these criminal actions if you feel the need too.
September 11th, 2020 7:23pm
Well, it can be or it can be not. It all depends on how he touches you? And how you feel after he touches you? Do you feel disgusted and uncomfortable? Do you think this is not appropriate behavior of him? If you feel a bit of fear of being around of him because of his touches. Then it is sexual abuse. But if you are comfortable then it's not. How does he behaves when he touches you? Is it normal or weird? And also the timings matter too? Do he touches you when you are alone if yes then you are in problem.
September 24th, 2020 4:10pm
How do you feel about it? It for sure is abuse, whether sexual or emotional. It also is illegal and I would not advise you to think this is normal. I don't know your situation but if he doesn't stop after you told him to stop you should tell someone about it or just not be alone with him in the same room ever. Also I would like to add that you could talk to him, touching could be in different places and if you feel uncomfortable talk to home about it, but if it is on your private parts do not let it slip.
October 8th, 2020 8:43pm
It depends on how he touches you. Does he make moves to touch your private parts, or is this just his way of affection? If you feel uncomfortable in these situations, talk to him about it. If you feel unsafe, talk to someone trustworthy, or, even better, talk to a therapist or even call the police if you're in a desperate situation. Just know that you're not alone and that you don't deserve this. You can also try to talk to your mom about it, as she could shed some light on the situation. Keep moving forward and never look back. If you need to, cut your dad out of your life. Sexual abuse isn't something to take lightly.
October 31st, 2020 3:56am
I do believe this is sexual abuse if he you are uncomfortable where and when he is touching you. In my opinion when someone is uncomfortable with something the other person should immediately stop when notified or when he/she notice him/herself. An important question to ask is where he is touching you and what are his motives. Maybe he is being playful or as a joke. But, with your question I think this is highly unlikely. Does he do It when you guys are alone and is it subtle or what leads up to his action. Maybe tell him to stop. I know it might be hard, but it is better in my opinion than being uncomfortable.
November 6th, 2020 4:40am
Is your dad touching you in a sexual manner or making threats towards you? If you are uncomfortable with him touching you, tell him. Communicate what is ok and not ok. Even if he is your dad, he should ask for consent and talk to a trusted adult or friend if you can. It is good to communicate your thoughts rather than keeping it to yourself. If he continues to touch you inappropriately, report him to the authorities. It is not your job to condone his behavior if you are uncomfortable. A father should be protecting their child, not harming them.
November 15th, 2020 5:39am
Yes this would be considered sexual abuse. It can bring about many different feelings that can be very confusing and scary. It is best to tell an adult or tell someone so you can recieve help. This behavior needs to stop and it can be scary to have to face this alone. Especially when it is your parent that is the one hurting you. I would tell someone so that they can report it to the proper authorities. It may sound scary but this way the sexual abuse can finally end. It may seem overwhelming but you don't deserve what is happening to you and it is not your fault. Your dad is the one with a problem and he needs to be held accountable while you are being safe and protected.
November 15th, 2020 5:52am
Of course it is sexual abuse if he touches you in a way that makes you uncomfortable. You should talk about immediately with someone who you trust and think will not try to shut you up. And if you are old enough to take control of the situation then call the police or the authorities concerned directly. No matter who it comes from bad touch is bad touch. It shouldn't happen. Especially coming from a father, the person who's supposed to be protecting you. Please report it as soon as possible. It shouldn't go on any longer than it already has.
November 15th, 2020 6:27am
Absolutely. Your dad should never touch you under any circumstances. It is wrong, and it is unlawful. If you are underage, you should tell a trusted adult what is happening so they can get you some help. If you are an adult, you should file a report to your local police station. It is not okay under any circumstances for your dad to touch you. If you are able to, you should stay with a friend as much as possible. Just stay out of the house as much as possible and try not to be alone with him. You should get help as soon as possible.
January 6th, 2021 7:01pm
It's really hard to answer your question buddy like it can be a normal dad to child touch, or on the darker side, it can be a sexual lustful touch. being here we can't really decide what it is, it is something you will have to figure out self. Look for signs like how strong his grab is, are there any particular areas where he touches regularly, and how he is while he touches you, is normal or is he sort of taking pleasure out of it. As much as I would want to give you a clear answer, I can't. It's something you'll have to look for your own. If you need to talk about it, you are welcome to, I will be glad to hear you out.
January 20th, 2021 7:34pm
YES! This is sexual abuse, I am so sorry that you are experiencing this. Please contact emergency department, police or at lest tell someone adult outside your family like a teacher or anyone that you feel safe with and they can help contact other authorities. As someone who has experiences abuse by my own parents I can relate. I know how hard it is. But you need to be brave and strong and ask for help. Asking for help is not weakness, its strength and I hope that you will get the help that you seek, need and deserve. Best of luck to you. Sending you love and strength!
February 10th, 2021 5:35am
It depends on the way that he’s touching you, honestly. Without giving any context, we have no idea what “touching” means. If rests his hands on your shoulder or hugs you, then no. But if it is an uninvited form of touching on any areas that make you feel uncomfortable or you know are wrong for him to be doing, then it might absolutely be. While he is “touching” you, how do you feel? Is it in a sexual manner, such as trying to put his hand on your thighs too close to your personal area? Is he trying to grope you in any sort of fashion? Does it make you feel uncomfortable at all? Those are the main questions.
March 17th, 2021 6:43pm
Sexual abuse can be considered as any act in which one individual tries to pressure someone into acts sexual in nature without the other person's consent or with someone below the age of consent. Kissing, fondling, digital penetration can come under can fit into the category of sexual abuse. Abuse has many connotations if its an area that is deliberately touched making you uncomfortable and scared then it most definitely it sexual abuse and also harassment. You might want to think what your boundaries are. What makes you comfortable and what makes you comfortable? You may also want to think what is the emotional and social impact of my dad treating me in this way? It is an offence and you can to do something about it in order for it to stop. As difficult and as uncomfortable as this is to talk about telling someone (e.g. an older adult you trust) may provide you with a chance to be listened to. There may be thoughts going through your mind about whether you will be believed or whether your dad will pose more of a danger if you share. This is a serious topic and you have the power to put an end to it. Sharing about uncomfortable experiences takes time and courage. RAINN is an example of an organizations that provides help for those who have experienced trauma. If wanting to communicate in an anonymous online environment please do not hesitate to communicate with one of our listeners or therapists on our site. We are here to listen and help you to express yourself!
April 11th, 2021 5:39pm
Where does your dad touch you? If your dad touches you on your private parts it is definitely sexual abuse, with or without consent (if you are underage). If your dad touches you on other parts, not private parts, it is technically not sexual abuse. However, if he does this without your consent it still goes into the category of ‘abuse’. You should never let anyone touch you if you are not comfortable with it, even your own family members. I understand your question. I wish all the best for you, remember; no one is allowed to touch you without your consent.
April 23rd, 2021 5:54pm
Depending on where he is touching you at. Is he touching you in way you dislike? If so then yes, he is abusing his power of being bigger into getting what he wants, have you told your mom about this? I'm sorry if I am asking so many questions I just want to help is all. Try distancing yourself from his area. Have you told any of your other family members or friends about this. Maybe speak to your counselor the problem could be bigger than what it is right now. I would say talk to someone about it, get there opinion.
May 1st, 2021 1:47am
This may be sexual abuse depending on context. Note that your father has no rights over your body, you can always say no, whatever he says about it, and you can ask trustworthy people for help. 1) Does he touch your private parts on purpose, or does he do it "accidentally" too frequently for it to be an actual accident? This is sexual abuse. 2) Does he touch you in ways that are ambiguous, or in places that may feel ambiguous because they are not technically private parts, but are related to sexuality (lips, thighs, belly button, neck), and doesn't stop when you say no or does it over and over again in separate occasions despite you having said no in the past? This can be sexual grooming or sexual assault. 3) Does he act entitled or angry, or tries to persuade you when you say no? It may be grooming or sexual assault. 4) Does he try to make you keep it as a secret? This is sexual abuse. 5) Any touch that continues after you said no, even if it is not sexually abusive, is abusive, and you have a right to try to stop it, prevent it or denounce it. There are many signs of sexual abuse. So, what touch is okay? 1) Touch that is evidently for your own good, like to check a wound or lesion or your temperature when you are unwell, to keep you safe, if you are disabled you may need someone to wash you without overwashing particularly your private parts, a proper culturally normal greeting, hugs, culturally normal kisses for fathers to give to daughters. 2) Touch that is obviously accidental, such as bumping on you on the very rare occasion on tight spaces (very frequent bumping can indicate it is purposeful). 3) Touch that is purely communicative, such as tapping gently on your shoulder to get your attention.
May 9th, 2021 3:22pm
yes yes yes if you think it is not appropriate. Talk to someone you can trust about it and get in touch with your local authorities if you think it has got so far. do not suffer in silence as you deserve to get help and be supported. If it makes you uncomfortable tell him to stop, if he does not stop get up and move away from him. tell him that you do not like it and tell him he has to stop. Tell any other adults you trust about this so that they are ready to help you
May 14th, 2021 7:43pm
There's a difference in touch, there's both good touch and bad touch, if a touch is making you uncomfortable or something that makes you wonder if it's an inappropriate touch or at a private body part , making you question if it's sexual abuse ...then it definitely is a form of molestation . Be it anyone , you're allowed to feel safe , and no one should touch inappropriately . I hope you're able to figure out if it's uncomfortable for you , and possibly tell him or someone who you feel comfortable with, to seek for a possible solution to it. keep safe ❤
July 16th, 2021 4:02pm
It depends. On one note, parents love showing affection to their children whether hugging, kissing on the cheek, etc. On another note if a parent were to take a more romantic liking toward a child maybe touching more often than regularly noticed that’s different. Sometimes a parent might be sexually abusive and think it’s okay because it’s their child so they might envision that they have the right to touch or do things. So in answering the question, I think it could possibly be sexual abuse. To check, a couple questions to ask yourself are, “has the touching increased or has your parent shown more care to your body or how you feel physically?” “Do you feel uncomfortable or have you been sensing inappropriate behaviour from the parent?”
August 4th, 2021 5:44pm
Many close relationships, such as friendships or familial relationships, involve some form of touch. Touch is both a love language and a natural way that people communicate. Not all forms of touch are sexual abuse, however, when touch is inappropriate, unwanted, or unwelcome, such as fondling or unwanted touching under or above clothing, or when touch includes sexual contact with family members or children, it can constitute sexual abuse. Therefore, the answer to this question is, it depends on the types of interactions you and your dad are having. If you were uncomfortable with the interactions, could you tell him? If you told him, would he stop? Regardless of whether this is sexual abuse or not, consent still matters. For more information, or if you need help, feel free to check out these resources: National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233) National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673) The National Domestic Violence Hotline can also help you find programs in your area. Be well and stay safe.
August 8th, 2021 5:22pm
This depends on where he touches, with what intention he touches you and most importantly, how it makes you feel. If you don't feel comfortable with him touching you, even if it's just a pat on the back, you should inform him that the physical contact makes you uncomfortable. If he refuses to honor your wish you could talk about it with someone else. I would proceed cautiously though. If your father searches physical contact with you for pure intentions, it would be a shame if one would smother his good name. So in short, if the physical content is non-sexual in nature, talk with him about it and inform that this makes you uncomfortable. If the touching is indeed in a sexual context then I would reach out to help.
October 28th, 2021 5:58pm
Depending on how he touches you, yes it could be considered sexual abuse, if it makes you feel uncomfortable and they refuse to stop when asked. then I would contact a trained professional about the matter. Eg. Police/local law enforcement for your area. If this an action you are uncomfortable with, if you have another partial figure in your life maybe bring this up with them and they will be with you as you move forward with your next steps as no-one should have to feel afraid of their partial figures in their life and there are plenty of resources and people you can speak to about these things.
October 31st, 2021 1:54am
I think it's important to distinguish between good or safe touch and bad touch. Good/safe touch is, for example, a hug or a high five from our loved ones or friends, something that makes us feel comfortable and happy and that we would have no issue in sharing with others. Bad touch is when someone touches us in inappropriate ways in our private parts (parts of the body usually covered by a swimming suit) and we want it to stop, as this makes us feel anxious, fearful, ashamed. And we wouldn't feel comfortable in disclose this to others. Nobody has the right to touch a child in their private parts, unless it's necessary for the wellbeing of the child (e.g. parents bathing a child, or a doctor visiting a child, with the parents present). If you think that your dad is touching you in a sexual/inappropriate way, you should seek support and/or talk to a trusted person (doctor, teacher, relative).
November 17th, 2021 11:57pm
Is the touch on your private parts? Does the touch feel inappropriate or is it crossing a boundary for you? Would you rather him not touch you in this way? Your body is your own, and know one is allowed to touch you without your explicit permission. Say "no" to touch that doesn't feel right to you. If saying "no" feels too uncomfortable or somehow unsafe, please reach out to someone you trust, a sexual abuse hotline, or a local social service organization to get the support you need and deserve. It is important that you reach out as soon as possible so you can get yourself the help you need. There is no shame in reaching out. If you are indeed a victim of sexual abuse, the shame is not yours to bear (even though it's natural to feel shame), it is your abuser's, exclusively, as he is the one who did something wrong. He is the parent and you are the child, regardless of your age (even teen or adult child).