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Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence is a crime and is defined as any sexual behaviour which is carried out without the consent of, or against the wishes of the person to whom the violence is directed.

Examples of Sexual Violence

  • Rape e.g. being forced to have vaginal, anal or oral sex;
  • Stalking e.g. repeatedly being followed or watched by someone;
  • Unwanted touching e.g. pinching, patting, embracing, rubbing, groping, flicking, kissing, fondling, being touched on the breasts, bum, legs etc;
  • Sexual harassment e.g. sexual 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. sexual 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;
  • Unwanted, offensive and invasive interpersonal communication through technologies such as mobile phones, internet social networking sites and email.

Myths and Facts about Sexual Violence

Myth: Abuse is most often committed by strangers.

Fact: Around 85% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by somebody that the victim knows well.

Myth: Offenders often look weird or cruel or unusual.

Fact: Offenders are ordinary people – they can be family members, friends, or people who are well known and respected in the community.

Myth: Acts like kissing, stroking or touching is not really sexual abuse.

Fact: Any form of unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact is abusive.

Myth: Children make up stories or lie about sexual abuse.

Fact: Children seldom lie about abuse - statistics show that most reports of child sexual abuse are true.  

Myth: An offender may be so drunk or high that he or she cannot be considered responsible for what he or she did with or without alcohol or drugs.

Fact: The offender is responsible for their actions and may need treatment to help them stop.

Myth: Some women ask for sex by the way they dress or behave. Therefore it is not abuse.

Fact: No one ever asks to be sexually abused. Every form of non-consensual sexual behaviour is an abuse regardless of how the victim behaved or how they dressed. There is no excuse for abuse. It is always the perpetrator`s fault. 

Myth: Men cannot be sexually abused. If they do, they probably asked for it or they were gay.

Fact: Between 1 out of 6 and 1 out of 10 males have experience sexual violence regardless of their sexual orientation. No one asks to be sexually abused and experiencing sexual violence does not define who someone is.
 

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