Did you know that 1 in every 3 women have been abused in their lifetime? Did you know that sexual assault and abuse can be perpetrated even without the perpetrator and the victim knowing it? Sexual assault and abuse is any type of sexual activity that you do not agree to even if it is in a relationship. This includes:
- inappropriate touching
- vaginal, anal, or oral penetration
- sexual intercourse that you say no to
- attempted rape
- child molestation
Sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Examples of this are voyeurism (when someone watches private sexual acts), exhibitionism (when someone exposes him/herself in public), incest (sexual contact between family members), and sexual harassment. It can happen in different situations, by a stranger in an isolated place, on a date, or in the home by someone you know.
In sexual abuse, the attacker uses against someone they perceive as weaker than them. It does not come from an uncontrollable sex drive but is a crime committed deliberately with the goal of controlling and humiliating the victim.
It is a sad fact but most victims of sexual violence are women. This fact is reflected in their standing in society as inferior to men. Sexual violence is another means of oppressing women in a patriarchal society. Every society that accepts aggressive behavior and gender inequality will have sexual violence as a part of their society’s life.
Types of Sexual Assault
- Extortion when the act the person required to perform is of a sexual nature.
- An indecent act, i.e. an act performed to cause humiliation, stimulation, or sexual satisfaction.
- Repeated propositions that are of a sexual nature addressed to a person who has previously demonstrated to the harasser that they are not interested in said propositions.
- Repeated remarks relating to the person’s sexuality when that person has already shown the harasser that they are not interested in said remarks.
- Degrading or humiliating remarks relating to a person’s sex or sexuality, including their sexual orientation.
- Publishing a picture, video, or recording of someone focusing on their sexuality for the purpose of humiliating or degrading the person without their consent.
- Propositions or remarks of a sexual nature when the harasser is aware that their target is not interested due to circumstances of exploiting a working relationship, dependency, and other services.
Sexual assault can also be expressed in these forms
- Sexual assault: a term including all sexual offenses. Any action or statement of a sexual nature and done without consent from both sides.
- Rape: insertion of a bodily organ or an object into the sex organ of a woman without her consent.
- Sodomy: insertion of a bodily organ or an object into a person’s anus or mouth without their consent.
- Attempted rape: attempted insertion of a bodily organ or an object into the sex organ of a woman without her consent.
- Gang rape: rape carried out by more than one attacker.
- Serial rape: repeated incidents of rape carried out by the same attacker over an extended period of time.
- Incest: sexual abuse or assault at the hands of a family member.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
In every workplace that employs more than ten workers, the employer by law is responsible for the prevention of sexual harassment. If there were incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace or maltreatment in connection to sexual harassment, you may turn to your supervisor and submit a report, which will be handled through disciplinary action according to your workplace’s policies regarding sexual harassment. You may, instead of or in addition, file a report with the police or take civil action in labor court.
Sexual violence in a romantic relationship
Intimate partner sexual violence can occur in all types of intimate relationships regardless of gender identities or sexual orientation. Intimate partner sexual violence is not defined by gender or sexuality, but by abusive behavior. These are warning signs to show that your partner might be abusing you.
- Attempts to cut you off from friends and family
- Is extremely jealous or upset if you spend time away from them
- Insults you, puts you down, says that you can never do anything right
- Tries to prevent you from attending work or school
- Tries to prevent you from making decisions for yourself
- Tells you that you are worthless and that no one else could ever love you
- Controls your finances
If you are a victim of this, kindly leave that relationship, seek a person you can trust and talk to them. You should see a therapist too and if any harm has been don’t to your person or property, report to the police.