Sexual abuse – any unwanted sexual act or activity.
There are many different kinds of sexual abuse:
- Being touched in sexual areas against your will
- Being touched, kissed or held in a way that made you feel uncomfortable
- Sexual comments made face to face or over email or social media
- Made to pose for sexual photographs
- Forced to perform oral sex
- Raped or otherwise penetrated
- Told all you were good for was sex
- Forced to participate in ritualised abuse in which you were sexually or physically tortured.
- Coercion into sexual contact – this may not by physical force but by the abuser making threats or putting you under psychological pressure.
- Withholding sex: some abusers may deliberately withhold sex from their partners as a form of punishment. This can affect your confidence and self-esteem.
- Keeping you permanently pregnant, so they know where you are, so that you might be unattractive to other people. This is all about control.
- Female Genital Mutilation
Anyone can be sexually abused at any time in their lives. The abuser doesn’t have to be a stranger. It could be someone you know, a friend, colleague, friend of the family, family (incest), a partner, or in the case of a child a babysitter or teacher. The majority of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone. No-one ever deserves or asks for it to happen. There is no excuse for sexual abuse. It can never be justified. It can never be explained. It is never valid, understandable or acceptable.
If you have been sexually abused, no matter where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, what you were saying, if you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, it was not your fault and you did not deserve this.