Sexual violence refers to any sexual activity where is consent is not obtained or freely given. Sexual violence occurs when a person is forced, coerced or manipulated into any unwanted sexual interaction or activity. There are many types of sexual violence, including but not limited to childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault.
Childhood Sexual Abuse
Unfortunately, the sexual abuse of children is more common than many would like to believe. Statistical estimates indicate that one in three girls and one in six boys will experienced unwanted sexual contact with an adult before the age of 18. Childhood sexual abuse is not specific to any particular gender, sexual orientation, economic or social standing, ethnicity, culture, or religion. Survivors often struggle with the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse in silence, secrecy and shame. Long-term effects often associated with childhood sexual abuse can include depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self-harming behaviors, post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship and trust issues, low self-esteem, sexual difficulties, and confusion around sexual orientation.
Contrary to popular belief, sexual assault is a major societal issue impacting both men and women regardless of their background, age, culture, religion, and social or economic standing. Sexual assault involves any type of sexual contact without voluntary consent. The common belief that sexual assault is motivated by uncontrollable sexual desire or arousal is a myth. Rather, sexual assault is a crime and is an act of power and control. Research suggests that 85% of sexual assaults in Canada are perpetrated by someone who is known to the survivor (either an acquaintance, friend, or family friend, partner etc.).
To learn more about Sexual Violence, Childhood Sexual Abuse, and/or Sexual Assault go to:
- Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton
- University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre
- Sexual Assault in Canada