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. We know it's not a term that everyone is familiar with in day to day life, so these pages will explain more about what it covers and how to get support if you are affected.

Sexual violence does not always include physical contact; it is an umbrella term that also includes sexual abuse and sexual harassment. However, the term violence is generally used to highlight the serious and lasting impact that these behaviours can have on their victims. Sexual abuse and sexual harassment are also types of sexual violence.

Examples of sexual violence include:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Unwanted sexual images
  • Revenge porn
  • Making unwanted sexual comments or suggestions
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Indecent exposure or flashing
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Sex trafficking

It is any sexual activity that takes place without sexual consent.

Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, class, or background.

The important thing to remember if you have experience any 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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