The information here may help you learn more about rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and consent.
What is rape?
Rape is when someone has sex with a person without their consent and does not reasonably believe that the person consents. Most rape victims are women, but men can be victims too.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault can cover a wide range of circumstances, but in the main it concerns the touching of a person by another, with a sexual motive.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwanted attention or unwanted 'sexting' (sending sexual messages and images). It can also include being coerced into watching or being involved in pornography, being subject to sexual bullying, or the victim of 'revenge porn'.
Any of the above crimes can be committed by a stranger, but it's more likely to be someone you know.
What is 'consent'?
A person consents if he or she agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.
Consent cannot be coerced, pressured or forced.
Consent cannot be assumed or ambiguous.
Consent cannot be determined by clothing or appearance.
Someone’s consent can change; it can be withdrawn at any time.
Your relationship with someone, such as being married or in a relationship, does not predetermine consent.
Being drunk, under the influence of drugs or unconscious means someone cannot give their consent.
The absence of the word ‘no’ does not mean someone gives their consent.
Sexual offences, including rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment, can have a devastating impact on the victim.
Touching someone with a sexual motive without consent is sexual assault. Having sex with someone without their consent is rape.
It is simple: if someone doesn’t want to, or doesn’t seem to want to do something; STOP. If you don’t, you have committed a crime.
If you have experienced a sexual assault, you are not to blame. It is the person that assaulted you that is to blame; please speak to someone you trust.