What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual act or activity.   There are many different kinds of abuse including rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape within marriage/relationships, “honour” based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking, sexual exploitation and ritual abuse.

Rape and sexual assault are mostly committed by someone who is known to the victim/survivor - husband, partner, boyfriend, friend, colleague, another family member, ex-partner, it can be someone that the victim knows and trusts.

Sexual abuse is always the responsibility of the perpetrator. There is no excuse for sexual violence and it can never be justified.

If you have been raped or experienced sexual abuse, no matter where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, if you were drunk or under the influence of alcohol or drugs; it was not your fault and you did not deserve this.

Rape / sexual assault should be reported to the police.

Consent is everything, you have the right to say no at any point during any sexual activity, even if you initiated it, but do not want it to continue.

Visit the Get Help section of this website for details of local and national services that can support you.


Our Relationships Shouldn't Hurt podcast has the following episodes which you may find useful for support on Sexual Abuse: