Sexual abuse 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.
Forms of sexual abuse 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 abuse 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 abuse.