Characteristics of harmful sexual behaviour in children and young people

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  • An imbalance of power, maturity and age between the children
  • Use of threats, coercion or force
  • Lack of consent
  • Behaviour that is normally acceptable, but in the context becomes unacceptable
  • A not insignificant amount of secrecy and/or planning
  • Behaviour escalates despite attempts to stop it
  • The person exposed to harmful sexual behaviour displaying negative emotions like fear and anger, potentially having an outburst or closing off