Sexual violence is any form of violence that involves sexual activity or targets a person’s sexuality. Sexual violence encompasses unwanted sexual gestures, comments, behaviour, and attitudes expressed directly or indirectly, including through technology.
Types of sexual violence
- Cybersexual violence;
- Repeated behaviour that is sexist, heterosexist, homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, or misogynistic, etc.;
- Creating or distributing sexual images of a person without consent;
- Forced sexual intimacy without consent;
- Undue and unwanted expression of interest;
- Sexual harassment;
- Acts of voyeurism and exhibitionism;
- Sexual assault;
- Any act of power, promise of a reward, or threat of retaliation, implicit or explicit, for complying with or rejecting a request of a sexual nature;
- Unwanted comments, allusions, jokes or insults of a sexual nature;
- Unwanted physical advances.
The following instances do not constitute sexual violence:
- Treating others with respect;
- Reciprocal flirting;
- Invitations or expressions of romantic or sexual interest without insisting in the event of refusal;
- Giving compliments without sexual overtones;
- Occasional expressions of appreciation that fall within the boundaries of civility and the recipient’s limits;
- Friendly, romantic or sexual relations between consenting persons.
- The person is unconscious or unable to communicate;
- The person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- The person requesting consent is in a position of power, trust or authority;
- The person changes their mind;
- The person says nothing or does not refuse;
- Consent is obtained by way of threats and coercion.
People have the right to say NO at any time.
When a person is forced to do what an abuser requires of them, they are not freely consenting to sexual activity.
Getting help, support, and an attentive ear
Consult all available resources on harassment and sexual violence