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Sexual abuse is when someone is forced, pressurised or tricked into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with another person.

Examples of sexual abuse include:

  • Putting pressure on someone to do something sexual (this could be online or in person)
  • Unwanted touching or kissing
  • Forcing someone to look at sexual pictures or films
  • Putting pressure on someone to send or receive a sexual picture
  • Doing something sexual to someone who is drunk or high on drugs and unable to give their consent (permission for something to happen)
  • Someone taking, having or sharing an image of you in underwear, naked or doing something sexual if you are under 18 or without your consent.

Sexual abuse causes young people significant trauma and distress. The impacts of sexual abuse experienced by young people are often far-reaching across all aspects of their lives, including emotional, mental and physical health, social and family relationships, and education and employment.

Is it my fault?

Whatever happened, no matter what you were wearing or how you were behaving, you are not to blame. If someone has harmed you, it is not your fault. The person who harmed you is responsible.