What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is the general term we use to describe any kind of unwanted sexual act or activity, including rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and many others. The term does not always include physical contact; revenge porn, sending unwanted nudes, and making unwanted sexual comments are also examples that fall under the heading of sexual violence. Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, class, or background.


There are many myths surrounding sexual violence, partly due to messages we receive from film, TV and the media. A common example of a myth is that rape is committed by strangers, when recent crime survey data suggests as many as 90% of victims knew their perpetrator.

Another example of a rape myth would be that many people make up false allegations, when research shows only about 4% of rapes reported to the police are false, and the vast majority of victims never report it at all.

A third myth is that sexual violence always leaves the victim with physical injuries, but it’s actually quite rare to be left with physical injuries.

There are many more examples and you can find more information online from Rape Crisis.

The important thing to remember if you have been raped or experienced any other kind of sexual violence, no matter where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, what you were saying, if you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, it was not your fault; you are not to blame.


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