Sexual abuse is when one person forces another person into sexual behavior, without that person's consent. It is a type of sexual violence, which is any sexual activity without consent. This includes sexual assault (such as unwanted touching or rape) and sexual harassment (unwelcome or offensive sexual behavior).
If you’ve experienced sexual abuse, assault or harassment, you might be experiencing intense rage and fear, or you may feel numb. There are 6 hotlines in Northern Ireland who support the victims of sexual violence. Consider getting some support if you recognize any of the following:
Everyone responds to experiencing sexual violence differently. It’s perfectly normal to go through very different emotions in a single day. Still, trying to cope with this on your own can be extremely difficult.
After surviving sexual violence, you might believe no one will understand your feelings. However, there are people in Northern Ireland who will give their best to understand you. Speaking freely about what you experienced could help you heal faster.
If you feel like you might need support with your experience of sexual violence, try reaching out to a hotline in Northern Ireland. It's free and confidential.