What is Sexual Violence?
Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent (consent that is explicit and enthusiastic). Sexual violence occurs when a person is forced, coerced, or manipulated into sexual activity. Sexual violence describes unwanted sexual contact such as sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, threatened sexual violence, or peeping. Sexual harassment and threatened sexual violence often involved unwanted verbal sexual advances or comments. Sexual assault and rape involve unwanted physical sexual contact. Sexual violence is about power and control and not about sexual attraction.
What Does Sexual Violence Look Like?
If you are forced, pressured, coerced, or manipulated into sexual activity that you do not want — even if you had sex with the person before, know the person, trusted the person, didn’t fight back or say no, were using drugs or alcohol, haven’t told anyone, or it happened a long time ago, you could be experiencing sexual violence. Sexual violence includes being touched, grabbed, or groped without your explicit and enthusiastic consent or in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. You could be a victim-survivor of sexual violence if you are or have been:
Forced into taking sexual pictures or videos
Being verbally or physically harassed by someone.
Someone is using unwanted sexual language towards you
Forced into doing sexual things that you don’t want to
Manipulated into having sex with someone else, or to perform sex acts on yourself
Penetrated vaginally, orally, or anally against your consent
Had videos or pictures taken without your knowledge and consent
Coerced into watching pornography or other sexual content
Someone is using physical force to get you to engage in sexual activity (including oral sex, intercourse, or penetration of any kind)
Pressured or threatened to engage in any kind of sexual activity
Told that if you don’t do something sexual, you or someone you love will be hurt
Forced into taking drugs or alcohol to induce sexual activity
Pressured to have sex even when you say “NO”
If you are experiencing any of these in your relationship, contact us for support at 816-349-9371 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn about our services for survivors of sexual violence, please click here.