Violence is complicated. It can take many forms and is experienced in different ways, but it always involves the abuse of power and exercising coercion and control.
Sexual violence is often violence against women due various expressions of gender inequality outlined by Our Watch: Change the story, including:
Condoning of violence against women
Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence in public and private life
Rigid gender roles and stereotyped constructions of masculinity and femininity
Male peer relations that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women.
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence covers a wide range of unwanted sexual behaviours that can include:
Being forced to watch or engage in porn,
Image sharing of a person without their consent,
Female genital mutilation,
This violence can be perpetuated in a domestic relationship, former partners, casual partners, other people known to the victim-survivors, or strangers. It could happen to anyone, but women and girls, children and young people face the highest rate of experiencing sexual violence. It is important to remember that it is never your fault if you have been subjected to sexual violence. All forms of sexual violence are crimes in Australia and violence of any type is not OK.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any sexual contact without enthusiastic consent of the other person. It can include unwanted touching, fondling or kissing and it is not limited to sexual intercourse.
Dating violence can be experienced as physical, emotional, verbal, technological or sexual abuse from an intimate partner. It can occur in all socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and in same-sex relationships as well as heterosexual relationships. However, females are more likely to be at harm of dating violence than males, especially among preteens, teenagers and young adults.