Sexual violence and abuse
Sexual violence and abuse is any behaviour thought to be of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent. Sexual violence and abuse can be physical, psychological, verbal or online. Any behaviour of a sexual nature that causes you distress is considered sexual violence or abuse.
People who experience sexual violence or abuse
Sexual violence and abuse can affect you whatever your:
The abuser is committing a crime if they’re sexually violent or abusive to you.
Recognising sexual behaviour that’s violent or abusive
You’re experiencing sexual violence or abuse if someone forces, controls or exploits you into sexual behaviour. The abuser could be:
- a stranger
- your partner
- someone you know
- a family member
The abuser might be someone you know online but haven’t met in person. To read more about different types and abusive behaviour, go to:
Rape is penetrative sex with another person against their will. The penetration could be:
Sexual assault is other unwanted sexual contact or behaviour including:
Sexual behaviour when your drink is spiked
Rape and sexual assault can happen if someone gives you alcohol, drugs or both without you knowing. They can add alcohol or drugs to your drink. It’s known as having your drink ‘spiked’.
A spiked drink can cause memory loss and sudden drowsiness. You might not be awake to consent to sexual behaviour or remember exactly what happened to you.
Staying safe when socialising
To stay safe when you're socialising:
- don’t accept a drink from someone you don’t know
- don’t leave your drink where you can’t see it
To read more about alcohol, go to:
Getting help after rape or sexual assault
If you’re the victim of rape or sexual assault, you can get support and advice. You might want to report the crime to the police.
For more information, go to: