Ending Sexual Violence
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence is a broad term that describes any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality.
The violence takes different forms, including sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, incest, childhood sexual abuse and rape during armed conflict. It also includes sexual harassment, stalking, indecent or sexualized exposure, degrading sexual imagery, voyeurism, cyber harassment, trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Who is affected?
Sexual violence crosses all social boundaries, affects women of every age and cultural background, and has devastating impacts on the lives of victims and their families as well as the well-being of society as a whole.
One in three women will experience some form of sexual assault in their adult lifetime. Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault – a daughter, a sister, mother or friend.
How to help stop sexual violence
There are many choices we can each make to show that we don’t support sexual violence.
- It could be as simple as drawing attention to an inappropriate comment or joke. Let people know that their comments are unacceptable.
- Trust your instincts when you notice something that doesn’t seem right. Tell someone: a friend, a teacher, a parent, human resources, your building superintendent, or the police if you think you are in danger of being sexually assaulted or have been a victim of sexual violence.
- Don’t support a perpetrator by staying silent or by looking away.
- Support women who are victims. Listen and believe her story. Then help her get help.
If you have been sexually assaulted
Remember that it is never your fault. You’re not alone. Tell someone you trust. Help is available.
Learn more about public awareness programs and about training programs for professionals and service providers.