What is Adult Sexual Assault

What is Adult Sexual Assault

Surviving Adult Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is any sexual act carried out on/with a person without their free agreement. It may involve:

  • violence or threats of violence
  • trickery or coercion
  • or it may be carried out on a person when they are not able to give consent (such as when they are drunk, incapacitated or mentally not able to give consent).

Sexual assault is not limited to physical sexual contact. Some examples of sexual assault are:

  • Exposing genitals (‘flashing’).
  • Exposing a person to unwanted pornographic material.
  • Sexual harassment.
  • Sharing or exchanging images of a person without consent.
  • Sexual touching.
  • Penetration of any orifice of the person with any part of the perpetrator’s body or with an object.
  • Making a person perform sex acts of any sort against their will.

Stalking and sexual harassment are also unlawful in Australia, and will be dealt with as forms of sexual assault by most sexual assault support services.

Stalking includes following, spying on, sending unwelcome messages to, and intimidating the victim.

Sexual harassment includes making inappropriate comments or jokes, unwelcome touching, sending inappropriate messages or displaying sexual images, and making unwanted requests for sex.