Information on Sexual Violence2019-07-25T15:53:30+00:00

Information on Sexual Violence

Sexual violence comes in many forms but one thing is common – the survivor is never to blame.

The simple definition of sexual violence is unwanted sexual attention.

Sexual violence includes; child sexual abuse, rape, assault, harassment (including via social media, email and text messaging), exploitation through pornography and/or prostitution, flashing and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Sexual violence can be committed by a stranger, partner, friend, acquaintance or relative, but is never, ever justified.

Let’s get rid of some of the myths surrounding sexual violence.

MYTH

She deserved it – Look at what’s she’s wearing; short skirt low cut top, she was dancing provocatively.

TRUTH

This suggests that only certain ‘types’ of women get raped, or that they are of a certain age. Women and girls of all ages, professions and positions in society are raped and sexually assaulted every day.

MYTH

We were kissing, so I knew she wanted to.

TRUTH

A woman has a right to say no at any time during intimate contact, even during intercourse.  What has gone before does not give a person the right to continue if the woman does not want to.  Kissing is not a ‘green light’ for sex.

MYTH

We’re married so it’s OK.

TRUTH

A woman can be raped by her husband or partner. Women are far more likely to be raped by their partner than by a stranger. Sex without consent is always rape.

MYTH

She was drunk.

TRUTH

Drinking isn’t a crime. If a woman is drunk and incapable then she’s not ‘fair game’. In fact, ask yourself if she’s capable of consenting if she is drunk.

MYTH

It won’t happen to me.

TRUTH

One in four women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime (WHO 2002).

MYTH

Only young women are raped.

TRUTH

It is a myth that older people don’t experience sexual violence.

Women and men of all ages can, and do, experience sexual violence.  Recent research from The Centre for research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) at Durham University found there are around 150 rape and serious sexual assaults involving an adult aged 60 or over reported to the police each year across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  However, it is likely that the true figure is much higher, as rape is one of the under reported crimes and older people may experience specific barriers to disclosing abuse.

MYTH

Sexual abuse of older peple is different from younger people.

TRUTH

Sexual violence involving older people happens in a range of circumstances. 

The Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse at Durham University carried out research into sexual violence experienced by people over the age of 60.  They found that most of the cases reported to the police involved a woman aged 60-69. There were few very cases involving a male victim. The research found that most of the perpetrators were male 98%) and were typically younger than the victim (66% were aged under 60).

MYTH

Women who sell and negotiate sexual services cannot be raped.

TRUTH

Anyone selling any form of sexual act, whether for money or payment in kind, has the right to consent to each individual act. The myth that individuals selling sex or other sexual acts cannot be raped is disempowering and can create barriers to reporting sexual assault and other forms of violence.

MYTH

I paid for it, I have the right to get what I paid for.

TRUTH

Anyone selling sex has the right to withdraw consent at any time, even whilst having sex, if they want to stop or do not want to perform a particular sexual act regardless of whether or not this has been paid for.

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