Sexual assault is subjecting someone to sexual acts they have not consented to. It is just as serious whether it happens physically or online.
Assault refers to sexual acts that are not sexual intercourse or comparable to sexual intercourse, in which case it is called rape. However, being a victim of sexual assault is just as serious as being a victim of rape.
Sexual assault includes most sexual acts committed against a person's will. Examples of such acts are:
- Talking sexually with someone you find uncomfortable or frightening.
- Forcing someone to watch you masturbate or display your sex, online or off.
- Doing something sexual to someone who cannot express their will, for example if someone is drunk, asleep, ill, has a disability or an injury.
- Forcing someone to engage in sexual acts.
- Photographing or filming someone for sexual purposes if they do not want to or are under 18.
- Buying or exchanging sexual acts with alcohol, money, services or gifts.
- Touching someone's body with their hands, mouth or sex in a way they find uncomfortable or frightening.
Both sexual assault and rape are sexual offences and can be prosecuted.
If you have been exposed
Many feel guilt and shame if they have been sexually abused. They may feel very bad and have feelings of anxiety, worry, difficulty sleeping and stomach aches.
It can be hard to tell someone, but it often helps. You have the right to say no - and no one should be allowed to perform sexual acts against your will!
You can always talk to us in the chat about things that are bothering you.