What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is a broad term that is used to cover a range of unwanted sexual acts.
These include:

  • adult rape
  • incest (sexual assault by a family member or close relative)
  • indecent assault (unwanted touching or indecent acts)
  • child sexual abuse (when a person uses their age, size, authority or position of trust to force or coerce a child into a sexual activity)

Sexual assault can happen to anyone, to people who are young or older, male or female, married or single, gay or straight, working, studying or unemployed, people who have a disability, or who are from any cultural or socioeconomic background.

Statistics show us that most people are sexually assaulted by someone they know and often trust, for example a family member, partner, ex partner, friend, neighbour, acquaintance, carer, colleague, teacher, clergy, or other kind of leader.

Whether the offender is known to the victim or is a stranger makes no difference to the fact that sexual assault is a crime, and is not the victim′s fault.