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I don't think it was bad enough

A common feeling amongst survivors is feeling as if it was not 'bad enough'. This often prevents survivors from coming forward for support.

You might think..

But I didn't say no - I just did nothing

When experiencing something traumatic like sexual violence, it is really common for our body to go into what is called the 'freeze' reaction. It's our body going into survival mode. It's a bit like when a hedgehog is crossing the road. The hedgehog will see a car coming and huddle up into a ball and not move. Our bodies do the same to protect us.

They are my partner so they can't

It doesn’t matter who someone is, or how long you have been together – no-one has the right to do anything sexual with you without your consent.

I led them on - I was too drunk / I flirted / I wore revealing clothing

You have the right to wear whatever you want without being raped or sexually assaulted. You also have the right to flirt or go on a date without it always leading to sexual activity. You should be able to stop at any point. If you are drunk, you are unable to make an informed decision, meaning you cannot give consent. Any sexual activity that occurs without your consent, is a form of sexual violence.

Or maybe you think..

I'm a man, I can't be sexually assaulted.

Regardless of gender, if you are forced, coerced, intimidated or bullied into sexual activity, it is a form of sexual violence.

I didn't feel anything after it happened

After rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, or any other form of sexual violence, there is no 'correct' way to feel. Many people are numb, confused, unsure, disconnected, or shocked. Your emotions may also shift over time. It is real and valid, regardless of how you feel.

But I said yes at the start?

Consent must be Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic and specific. This means even if at the start, you consented to kissing or different forms of sexual activity like oral sex, you can and are entitled to changing your mind if you choose to not have sexual intercourse or engage in other activities.

We are here to support you.

Image by Solen Feyissa


Image by Solen Feyissa

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