Is there also something to be said about the assumption that the teen is of an average IQ, rather than delayed somehow? Some people never get past an IQ of 40 or so, and they are often very abused, and they may not be capable of stopping a 7 year old…
Yes, and thank you for saying it. I wasn’t thinking about the possibility that the teen in the scenario might have a mental or physical health issue that could potentially change the power balance between the two people. You are so right to point it out.
Another anon said:
I think in the case of a 7yo abusing a 15yo, the only way I could see that happening and the 15yo not putting a stop to it is if the 15yo was mentally and/or physically disabled. Even then I doubt a 7yo could really be deemed an abuser. I agree that in situations where children abuse other children after they have been abused there is definitely a victim, but I don’t think we can classify the child doing the abusing as a perpetrator the same way we would an adult abuser.
I think the question was not so much asking whether the kid could be called an abuser, but whether a kid could commit abuse. Your question and the one before you makes me rethink my initial response. It seems there could be situations where the power balance would go to the much younger person, and abuse could occur.
You’re right in saying that a child who perpetrated sexual abuse against another kid, regardless of age, would not be treated the way we do an adult abuser. It’s not appropriate. In most cases I’ve heard about where young children have sexually abused another kid, the child has been sent for serious counseling and help, not punishment.