Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence Awareness Month: October

Sexual Violence Awareness Month is held during October each year to: Raise community awareness about sexual violence, Promote the support options available to people affected by sexual assault and sexual abuse, and Uphold a clear message that sexual violence will not be tolerated in our communities.

About sexual abuse and assault:
Sexual abuse and assault (or sexual violence) is any unwanted sexual behaviour towards another person. There are different kinds of sexual violence but all sexual violence is a serious crime.

How big is the problem of sexual violence?
Exact numbers are not available as: Many acts of sexual violence are not reported and Offences differ from state to state.

The Australian Study of Health and Relationships survey of 20,000 Australians found that 21% of women and 5% of men say they’ve been forced or frightened into doing something sexually they didn’t want to do. Of these: about half were 16 years or younger the first time it happened and only a third had talked to anyone about their experience.

Can sexual violence be avoided?

Rules like ‘don’t talk to strangers ’and ‘don’t walk alone after dark’ may help to avoid general crime, but they help little to prevent sexual violence.  These rules support the myth that a victim of sexual violence could have done something to avoid it. In fact, the victim usually knows the person committing the sexual assault and most incidents take place at home.

It’s best to join in activities that will help build confidence and self esteem, enabling you to deal assertively—and if needed, aggressively—with an attacker.

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