What is sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse is a horrific violation of human rights that affects both women and men. Any non-consensual sexual act whereby a person is forced to perform against their will is considered sexual abuse. Sexual abuse does not just involve the act of penetration; sexual abuse can also involve forced kissing, groping, or sexual harassment. Perpetrators of sexual abuse don’t discriminate; regardless of age, gender, race, background, or class, anyone can experience sexual abuse. It doesn’t matter if the perpetrator of this crime is a stranger or someone you are in a relationship with or married to, forcing unsolicited sexual behaviour onto another person is sexual abuse. The effects of sexual abuse can be deeply upsetting and leave survivors with long-lasting trauma.
Is sexual coercion a form of sexual abuse?
This type of sexual abuse occurs when a person is manipulated into having sex because the other party makes threats, sulks, or uses blackmail to get what they want. Sexual coercion can happen between strangers and it can also take place in relationships and can manifest in different ways. Sexual abuse may not always include physical force but it is still sexual abuse.
There is a dangerous misconception that if a person said “yes”, the sex was consensual. However, a person may feel pressured into saying yes due to the repercussions if they say no. Was the person in the right frame of mind to consent to sex? Were they drunk and unable to think coherently? Did you have to keep asking them to engage in sexual intercourse until they reluctantly agreed? Experiencing sexual coercion can be traumatizing and leave survivors feeling confused. Even though they understand it wasn’t rape because they said yes, they feel violated afterwards. It’s important to know that if you’re experiencing any of these feelings after sex, you could be with an abusive partner.
What to do if you have experienced sexual coercion
If you have experienced sexual coercion, it’s crucial to know that it wasn’t your fault. If you wish to talk to someone about your experiences, help is out there. Sometimes sexual coercion can cross the line and become a sexual assault. For example, if your partner uses physical force or threatens to use violence if you don’t have sex with them, this is sexual assault and is treated as a serious crime. Sexual coercion also becomes assault if you tell your partner to stop and they carry on, or if they spike you with alcohol or drugs to have sex with you.
If you have been subject to sexual assault, you may wish to report the crime to the police straight away. Alternatively, you may wish to visit a Sexual assault referral centre (SARC). SARCS offer medical, practical and emotional support to anyone who has experienced rape, sexual assault or abuse. They have specially trained doctors, nurses and support workers to care for you. Help is available 24 hours a day.
Sexual abuse compensation
If you have experienced sexual abuse, you may be eligible for compensation. Although this money can never make up for the trauma caused by this horrendous crime, sexual abuse compensation can provide you with significant financial help if you wish to take time off work or enrol in counselling or therapy. The amount of sexual abuse compensation you could receive depends on the case. Please contact our team of expert solicitors for a confidential chat for a clearer idea of how much money you could be entitled to.
Get in touch
Our team of highly-skilled solicitors are experienced with sexual abuse claims. We understand that the procedure of making a claim can be extremely upsetting. However, it is essential to note that our team will be with you throughout the entire process. For more information about making a sexual abuse claim, please call +0151 242 5111 to chat with an experienced and empathetic solicitor.