Healthy lives for young people
Abuse

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is the general term used to describe any kind of unwanted sexual act or activity.

This can include:

  • Rape (penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth with a penis without consent)
  • Sexual assault / abuse (any act of unwanted sexual contact including rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, online grooming, domestic abuse and sexual exploitation)
  • Sexual Harassment (any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature e.g sexual comments or jokes that makes you feel uncomfortable, distressed, or humiliated)
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

You are not to blame

If you have experienced sexual violence, whether it was recently or many years ago, you could be feeling a range of emotions such as anger, shock, fear or depression. You might feel many things at once, or you may be in shock and feel numb. Whatever you are feeling, you are not to blame and you are not alone.

Find useful resources from Rape Crisis to help you understand some common reactions to sexual violence and develop skills to cope with them.

Sexual health

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are passed through vaginal, anal and oral (mouth) sexual contact. If you have experienced sexual violence you should arrange to be tested for STIs as soon as possible. This is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

Pregnancy

If you think you could be pregnant as a result of rape, there are a number of places you can be tested for pregnancy, discuss your options and seek support.

Find your local service here.

There are different types of emergency contraception you can take to prevent pregnancy, some of these can be taken up to 5 days after the incident.

If you are pregnant and you don’t want to continue the pregnancy you can find out where to seek help here.

Sexual violence in relationships

Sometimes sexual violence happens within relationships. This can also be known as domestic abuse. Find out more about abuse in relationships.

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