What is Sexual Violence and Abuse?

What is Sexual Violence and Abuse?

Sexual violence is a general term used to describe any unwanted sexual activity and includes any act by violence, coercion or manipulation, regardless of the relationship to the victim and may include:

  • rape
  • sexual assault
  • incest
  • sexual exploitation
  • unwanted or inappropriate contact
  • sexual harassment
  • revenge porn
  • exposure
  • threats
  • stalking/cyberstalking.

You are experiencing sexual violence or abuse if someone forces, controls or exploits you into performing sexual acts.  The abuser can be a stranger or known to you and may even be a family member or partner.

The term sexual abuse is usually used in connection to children and might include:

  • Touching a child in a sexual way.
  • Forcing or encouraging a child to touch a person in a sexual way.
  • Making a child view sexual material, such as pictures or videos.
  • Exposing or “flashing”.
  • Making a child take part in any sexual activity.
Get in touch via isva@idas.org.uk or ring our helpline on 03000 110 110.
“Knowing that I had the support of someone who absolutely understood me and my situation with absolutely no judgement. Although our chats were only for an hour, I felt safe and reassured by Sam’s care and knew that I could turn to her any time if needed and she made it such fun. She knew instinctively how to speak to me, and it’s not only been useful but life-changing."