Recognizing that we have been the victim of sexual violence is sometimes the first step in our recovery. All of your reactions are legitimate.
Forms of sexual violence
Sexual violence denotes any action or attempted action of a sexual nature committed against another person without their consent. These include sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual cyberviolence.
When committed without consent, any sexual act is a form of sexual violence. Consent means agreement or permission clearly expressed by the person concerned. It must always be respected.
Possible reactions to an act of sexual violence
Every person reacts differently to an act of sexual violence. It can vary depending on the form of violence, the context and the person’s individual and social resources.
Myths, prejudices and truths
Too often, common myths and prejudices sow doubt in the minds of people who have experienced sexual violence. It is important to clarify the facts and set the record straight.
When a person reveals that they have experienced sexual violence, the reaction of those close to them can have a big impact on their recovery. Judging the person or minimizing what they have gone through can cause even more damage. Listening to them, believing them, and supporting them in their decisions will encourage them to regain control of their life.