About sexual violence

Sexual violence is any behaviour of a sexual nature which is unwanted and which takes place without consent or understanding or when coercion is used to obtain consent. It may not be violent but will always be violating.

Forms of sexual violence include attempted rape; unwanted sexual touching; forcing upon someone sexual acts including oral sex; penetration of the victim’s body, also called rape. Rape is a form of sexual assault but not all sexual assault is rape.

Rape is, by definition: ‘unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim’.

Sexual violence can be perpetrated in different ways. The long-term effects of sexual violence can include many emotional, psychological and physical conditions.  The experience of sexual assault or abuse at any age can have devastating effects on every aspect of a person’s being and life. Sexual trauma is the term we use to describe the long-term effects of sexual violence.

Impacts and Coping

There are some strategies you may be able to use to help you cope with difficulties in sleeping and controlling panic and/or sudden distress.

Find out more Impacts and Coping

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Child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse encapsulates ANY sexual activity between a child/adolescent and an adult, with or without physical touch.

Find out more Child sexual abuse

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Domestic violence

Domestic violence is often talked about in terms of physical, emotional and financial abuse. However, domestic abuse also involves rape and sexual assault.

Find out more Domestic violence

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Ritual abuse

If you think you may have been the victim of ritual abuse, then some of the following information may be triggering for you.

Find out more Ritual abuse

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