Sexual violence is an act of domination, humiliation, abuse of power, and violence, which is a measure of social control mainly enacted against women and children.
To commit sexual violence is to impose sexual acts, attitudes and speech against a person’s will or without their consent, by using intimidation, threats, blackmail or various forms of violence, be it verbal, physical or psychological. A threat may be implicit or explicit. Sexual violence is criminal! It threatens a person’s integrity and safety.
People who have experienced sexual violence may suffer various physical, psychological, social and sexual consequences. Here are few examples of the challenges that may develop for them: anxiety, anger, fear, flashbacks, suicidal thoughts, shame, guilt, negative self-image, sleep disorders, compulsive sexuality, difficulty having sexual relations, emotional difficulties, eating disorders, addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.), difficulties at school or at work, interpersonal difficulties, sexually transmitted infections, and more. It is important to work with women to reduce the consequences they experience.
Sexual violence may take various forms, including:
- Sexual assault;
- Group sexual assault;
- Unwanted sexual touching;
- Sexual harassment;
- Obscene calls;
- Online sexual violence;
- Sexual exploitation (pornography, prostitution and sexual trafficking).
Have you experienced sexual violence? Do you recognize your own experience or problems in the lists above? Do you want to help someone you care about? Click here.