What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity.
There are many different kinds, including: rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual harassment, forced marriage, so-called honour-based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking, sexual exploitation and others.
Sexual violence can be perpetrated by someone who you know and trust such as your partner, husband, friend, it could be another family member, a colleague at work or a stranger.
Sexual violence can happen to anyone. No-one ever deserves or asks for it to happen.
100% of the responsibility for sexual violence lies with its perpetrator(s). There is no excuse for sexual violence; it can never be justified or explained away.
If you have been raped or been through any kind of sexual violence, no matter how long ago, where you were, what you were doing, wearing, or saying, whether you were drunk or had taken drugs, it was not your fault and you did not deserve this.
Sometimes it can be hard to name something as sexual violence. We may feel in our gut that it is wrong, or feel deeply unhappy, disturbed and worried by what has happened, but not want to name is as violence or use words associated with sexual violence.
When we think of sexual violence, our ideas may come from what we see in television and films, as dramatic scenes with obvious physical damage. In reality it can be far more subtle, however just because something was verbal, happened online, or was committed by someone you know, doesn’t mean it is any less frightening or violating – nor does it mean that you are any less deserving of support.
Whether you have been raped, sexually assaulted, or experienced any form of sexual violence at any point in your life, you can contact us. We will support you to use the words you choose to describe what has happened, and will not pressure you to disclose anything you are not comfortable with.
We are here to support you and help you recover from the impact sexual violence has had on your life.