Sexual Violence

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity. According to the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 sexual violence means sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, or threats of violence of a sexual nature. The act further defines sexual exploitation as something that is done to or in respect of a person which warrants an offence under Part 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.This includes the following definitions:

  • Rape - when a person intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with his penis when that other person does not consent to the penetration, and/or he does not reasonably believe that the other person consents. 
  • Assault by penetration - the intentional sexual penetration of the vagina or anus of another person with a part of the person’s body or anything else, when that other person does not consent to the penetration, and/or the person does not reasonably believe that the other person consents.
  • Sexual assault is a person intentionally touching another person sexually in a manner to which the other person does not consent to the touching, and/or the person does not reasonably believe that the other person consents.
  • Child sex offences including rape or any sexual activity with a child, familial child sex offences and meeting a child following sexual grooming.
  • Sexual harassment – the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 defines harassment means a course of conduct (including speech) by a person, which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other. For incidents that took place after 1st October 2005 there are two types of sexual harassment – unwanted contact on the grounds of your sex and unwanted physical verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual Violence in intimate partner relationships

A sexual violence perpetrator can have any relationship to a victim, and that includes the role of an intimate partner. There are many different terms to refer to sexual assault committed by a person in a relationship with the victim, including: intimate partner sexual violence, domestic violence, intimate partner rape, marital rape, and spousal rape. No matter what term is used or how the relationship is defined, it is never okay to engage in sexual activity without someone’s consent.  Sexual assault in a relationship rarely exists in a vacuum. It often occurs alongside other forms of abusive behavior.

If you think you, or somebody you know, is experiencing, or has experienced, Sexual Violence please go to the ‘Support and Advice section’.