Domestic abuse and sexual violence support

Sexual violence

BSL Support

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Sexual violence and sexual abuse is any type of unwanted sexual act or activity that takes place without consent. 

Sexual violence and sexual abuse can be experienced by children and adults of all genders, ages and communities and is a crime regardless of who commits it and where it takes place. This includes recent experiences of abuse in addition to historic abuse that has taken place many years ago.

Those who sexually abuse others can be acquaintances, family members, trusted individuals or strangers.

What can be defined as sexual violence?

Sexual violence can be physical, psychological, verbal and online. It includes:

  • Attempted rape 
  • Child sexual assault
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Intimate partner sexual violence
  • Non-contact sexual abuse, such as threatened sexual violence
  • Rape
  • Revenge porn (for example, sharing or threatening to post intimate pictures of someone without their consent)
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual coercion 
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Unwanted sexual contact (for example, unwanted touching)
  • Upskirting (taking a picture under another person’s clothing without their knowledge or consent).

There are no excuses for sexual violence 

You are not to blame – 100% of the blame for rape and sexual assault lies with the perpetrator. Sexual violence has nothing to do with the way you are dressed or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Nobody has the right to have sex with you without your consent.  

If you wish to access help and support, there are a number of services available.