What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence is any form of unwanted or forced sexual behaviour or act toward another, regardless of age or gender, that occur without consent.
Sexual violence includes penetrative and non penetrative acts including sexual abuse, sexual assault and rape.
Some examples of sexual violence include:
- Stalking e.g. repeatedly being followed or watched by someone;
- Rape e.g. being forced to have vaginal, anal or oral sex;
- Unwanted touching e.g. pinching, patting, embracing, rubbing, groping, flicking, kissing, fondling, being touched on the breasts, bum, legs etc;
- Sexual harassment e.g. dirty jokes or rude comments about a person's sex life;
- Obscene gestures e.g. simulating masturbation in front of a person;
- Voyeurism e.g. being watched doing intimate things without permission;
- Unwanted sexual comments or jokes e.g. comments about a person's body or relationships;
- Sex-related insults e.g. calling someone a slut, dyke, homo, slag etc;
- Pressuring for dates or demand for sex e.g. invitations that turn into threats or not taking 'no' for an answer;
- Indecent exposure e.g. someone showing private parts of their body or 'flashing' their genitals;
- Being forced to watch or participate in porn e.g. taking a photo without permission, forcing someone to be on video, making someone watch a pornographic movie;
- Offensive written material e.g. dirty notes, letters, phone messages, emails, SMS, pictures;
- Incest/intrafamilial child sexual assault e.g. a family member e.g. father or brother engaging in sexual activity with a child or young person;
- Extrafamilial child sexual assault e.g. by a person known to the child or family such as a friend, teacher, coach;
- Unwanted, offensive and invasive interpersonal communication through technologies such as mobile phones, internet social networking sites and email;
- Non-consensual sharing of images.
Sexual violence, sexual assault and sexual abuse are often terms used interchangeably to described sexual violence.
If you have recently experienced sexual violence, we encourage you to ensure you are in a safe place and seek medical attention (whether at hospital or a doctor's clinic). It is important to always remember that it is never your fault and that you have the right to feel safe. The QSAN services will be able to support you.
For more information, please see our Resources page.