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Sexual Violence

Consent Means:

At the time of the act, there are physical actions indicating that both partners freely agree and really want to do the same thing. Checking for consent is a process that each person needs to keep doing.

If you need immediate medical attention, learn about Free Medical Exams and Treatment (PDF) and find links to your local hospital.

Sexual Violence Fact Sheet (PDF)

Sexual violence or sexual assault is any unwanted sexual attention, contact, or activity.

Sexual violence may involve one or more persons forcing, pressuring, coercing, threatening or otherwise manipulating another person into sexual acts or activities against his or her will and without his or her consent.

Sex without consent is rape. It is illegal and it is wrong, and while there are many ways in which our culture places blame on the victim, it is always the perpetrators fault. If you are forced, pressured, coerced, or manipulated into sexual activity that you do not want, even if you had sex with the person before, know the person, trusted the person, didn’t fight back, were using drugs or alcohol, haven’t told anyone, or it happened a long time ago, support is available. Contact our member programs to find out more.

Some Examples of Sexual Violence

  • Harassing someone in a sexual way at school, home or work
  • Using sexual language to talk about someone in a way that makes them uncomfortable
  • Touching, grabbing, or groping someone in a way that makes them uncomfortable
  • Talking someone into doing sexual things that they don’t want to
  • Forcing someone into having sex with someone else, or to perform sex acts on themselves
  • Forcing someone to take sexual pictures or videos
  • Taking videos or pictures without the person’s knowledge and consent
  • Forcing someone to watch pornography or other sexual content
  • Using physical force to get someone to engage in sexual activity (including oral sex, intercourse, or penetration of any kind)
  • Using pressure or threats to get someone to engage in any kind of sexual activity
  • Telling someone that if they don’t do something sexual, someone will hurt them or someone they love

Victim Reactions

Sexual violence takes many forms. For one person, the impact of some of these forms of violence the impact might not be severe. Another person’s reaction to the same sort of event might be. No reaction is “wrong.” Each person deals with her/ his experiences in different ways and there is no typical “victim” reaction. However a victim’s feelings should always be validated and respected.

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