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What is sexual violence?

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is any sexual act or activity which is unwanted and which has not been consented to. Sexual violence can affect anyone, at any stage of their lives.

What does the term ‘sexual violence’ include?

Any sexual act which has not been consented to can be classed as sexual violence. Sexual violence can include:

  • rape
  • sexual assault
  • child sexual abuse
  • incest
  • sexual harassment
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • trafficking
  • sexual exploitation
  • ritual abuse.

Who are the victims of sexual violence?

Anyone can become a victim of sexual violence, at any stage of their life. A victim may experience one incident of sexual violence or many.

Who are the perpetrators of sexual violence?

There is no such thing as a typical perpetrator of sexual violence. A perpetrator may be any age and can be a man or a woman. They may be well known to the victim, an acquaintance or a complete stranger.

Who is to blame for sexual violence?

The perpetrator of sexual violence is always to blame. It does not matter what the victim is wearing, where they are, how much alcohol they have drunk or drugs they may have taken. If someone has not agreed to what has happened to them a crime has been committed.

Call our free and confidential Live Fear Free Helpline:

0808 80 10 800

(Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)


About Live Fear Free

Live Fear Free is a Welsh Government website, providing information and advice for those suffering with violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

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