Definition of sexual assault
|CASA House defines sexual assault is any sexual behaviour that makes a person feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened. It is sexual activity to which a person does not consent. The use of emotional or physical violence to force another person to engage in sexual activity also constitutes sexual assault. Sexual assault can take various forms, some of which are criminal offences:|
- touching, fondling, kissing
- being made to look at, or pose for, pornographic photos
- verbal harassment/innuendo
- incest/intrafamilial child sexual assault
Sexual assault is a crime:
- against both the individual and society.
- predominantly experienced by women and children. Men do experience sexual assaults, although the incidence is much lower.
- common within families. The offender is rarely a stranger and is often someone that the victim/survivor knows and trusts, such as a family member or friend.
- in the main perpetrated by men who abuse a position of trust, authority and power.
|Sexual assault can occur to people from all cultural backgrounds. It is a crime that can leave the victim/survivor feeling isolated and silenced. Victim/survivors never provoke a sexual assault, are never to blame and are never responsible for the actions of the offender.|
Men and sexual assault
- 11% of service users at CASA house are men, predominantly victim/survivors of child sexual assault perpetrated against them by men and adolescent boys.
- Some common misconceptions about men and sexual assault include:
- - A strong man can't be raped. He must have consented.
- - Men are perpetrators of sexual assault not the victims.
- - Only gay men are raped.
- - Only gay men rape other men.
- Beliefs such as these can be barrriers to men accessing support and counselling.
- Sexual assault can have significant, short and long term consequences for victim/survivors.