Sexual violence is a serious and pervasive issue that affects people of all genders and ages. It encompasses a wide range of behaviours, from unwanted sexual advances to rape, and can have serious and long-lasting effects on the physical and mental health of victims/survivors. It is important to understand the different types of sexual violence so that we can better identify and prevent it and support victims/survivors in their healing process.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes any type of unwanted sexual advances, comments, or gestures. This can include unwanted sexual propositions, comments about a person’s appearance, and touching or grabbing. It can also include nonverbal behaviours such as leering or staring.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault includes any type of non-consensual sexual contact. This can include unwanted kissing, touching, or fondling, as well as vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. It can also include sexual contact with someone who is incapacitated or unable to give consent.

Rape

Rape is a form of sexual assault that involves vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by a perpetrator’s genitalia, fingers, or an object without the consent of the survivor. Rape can be committed by someone the survivor knows or by a stranger, and it can happen in a variety of settings, including at home, in the workplace, or in public places.

Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse is any form of sexual activity with a child, including rape, molestation, or other forms of sexual contact. This type of abuse can happen within the family or by someone outside the family, and it can have serious and long-lasting effects on the child’s physical and mental health.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation includes any type of sexual activity that is performed for the benefit of the perpetrator, rather than for the mutual pleasure of both parties. This can include prostitution, pornography, and human trafficking.

It is important to remember that sexual violence can happen to anyone, and it is never the victim/survivor’s fault. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, it is important to seek help and support as soon as possible. There are many resources available to victims/survivors, including counselling, support groups, and legal assistance.