What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual Assault is ANY unwanted or forced sexual act or behaviour without your informed consent.
Sexual Assault and abuse is perpetrated by all sorts of people in all kinds of settings and against all age groups and genders. You can never tell if someone ‘is like that’ or “would do a thing like that’, it could be a stranger, acquaintance, or someone you know well such as a family member, friend, work colleague, team mate, or neighbour.
If the perpetrator is your husband, wife, de facto or intimate partner or ongoing boyfriend/girlfriend then the Sexual Assault is considered a form of Domestic Violence and is still a Criminal Offence.
Sexual Assault is a criminal offence and can range from lightly touching in a sexually explicit way to forceful handling and rape, it includes but is not limited to the following behaviours:-
An attempt to perform any of the above may also be a criminal offence
What does Without Informed Consent mean?
Without informed consent is a critical consideration and occurs when the person being victimised is rendered incapable of giving that consent due to:-
- The influence of drugs or alcohol – drink spiking or just enjoying one too many drinks
- Having been rendered unconscious due to a violent act towards them
- Is suffering fear paralysis due to the shock of the assault
- Being too fearful to resist the assault for fear of further harm or being killed or is fearful of future harassment or derogatory remarks being made to family, colleagues or being placed on Facebook or other social media
- Being outnumbered by the number of perpetrators
- Suffering from a disability which does not allow the person to understand the sexual behaviour being exhibited towards them
- Being a child – whose developmental cognitive capacity does not allow them to understand the sexual behaviour being exhibited towards them
Sexual Assault includes unsolicited attention, harassment or suggestions of a sexual nature.
Sexual assault is an act of power and control.
It is NOT about intimacy, it is NOT a shared experience
And it has NOTHING TO DO with love or affection!
If you have been sexually assaulted or if you are confused or fear you have been affected by any of the above behaviours, please call 1800 010 120 and speak with one of our counsellors now! We are here to listen and to help YOU!
Intimate Partner Sexual Violence
Intimate Partner Sexual Violence occurs in committed relationships, whether spousal, de facto or ongoing boyfriend- girlfriend relationships and is often described as the ultimate insult in a relationship.
Intimate Partner Sexual Violence is a form of Domestic Violence and is a criminal offence.
It can be reported to the Police and a Domestic Violence Order can be taken out by Police or a Private Application can be made through the Magistrate’s Court. If you have faced the betrayal and hurt of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence, then it is recommended that you ask for conditions of “no contact” on your Domestic Violence Order.
Sexual Assault in an intimate partner relationship is often entwined with emotional and other forms of blackmail, it includes a range of behaviours including but not limited to the following:-
Sexual assault during which; physical force or restraint is used.
Coercion into sexual intimacy using a range of threats such as:- physical violence, withholding household finances or support, diminished access to medical or psychological support or medication, having you deported from Australia because you are on a spousal visa, demeaning you to family and friends.
Coercion into sexual intimacy under threat; whether it be to end the relationship or marriage, to withhold your rights during Property Settlement or to abuse the children including threats to seek intimacy with your daughter or son.
Coercion into sexual intimacy because it is your obligation as a marital partner to provide sex to your partner, making you feel that your refusal to engage in sexual intimacy is abnormal and where the perpetrating partner is male, that it is a “man’s right” to seek out and receive sex from his partner.
Often your partner may constantly harass you, wearing you down until you give in sexually to “keep the peace” or you know that if you don’t comply with the wishes of that partner, it could be dangerous for you or you know the consequences.
If you are asleep, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and do not want sex or cannot give informed consent, and sexual activity by your partner occurs.
If you partner knows that a particular sexual activity is uncomfortable for you physically and psychologically, and still pressures you into that activity ,or performs this activity without your consent.
If your partner forces you to watch pornography you find distasteful and then forces you to act out those scenes.
If your partner, demands that you perform sexual acts with his or her friends, and you resist, but are threatened by the number of people present or threats of violence.
If you have experienced any of these behaviours from your partner – or if you are still in doubt please speak with a counsellor on State-wide Sexual Assault Line Pho: 1800 101 120 – we are here to help you in whatever way you need!
The truth about Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault is all about an act of power and control.
It is not about sexual intimacy, it is not a shared experience and it has nothing to do with love or affection!
No matter what you are doing, what you are wearing, how much you have had to drink or if intimacy has started, “NO means NO!”
No one deserves to be raped or sexually assaulted.
No one brings sexual assault or rape upon themselves.
Sexual Assault is about predatory and opportunistic behaviour – perpetrators often have a plan of action in mind, and will prey on the vulnerability of the victim and believe they can ‘get away with it’.
Perpetrators will rely on the shame and fear of the victim and the fact that most sexual assaults occur on a one to one basis – so there are no witnesses.
The perpetrators of Sexual Assault are 100% to blame and are responsible for their actions…
Sadly, most perpetrators lack insight into the pain they cause their victims and they don’t show remorse.