Leave site now >>

Rape and Sexual Assault

The legal definition of rape is ‘penetration with a penis of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person without their consent’.

To be able to consent, one must have both the freedom and the capacity to consent (without, for example, pressure, coercion, threats or violence or being very drunk, under the influence of drugs or asleep)

Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity. There are many different kinds, including: rape, sexual abuse (including in childhood), sexual assault, sexual harassment, forced marriage, so-called honour-based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking, sexual exploitation (including child sexual exploitation), and others.

Sexual assaults are acts involving the sexual touching of another without their consent.

Sexual assault can be committed by both men and women against either a man or a woman. An offender is guilty of this offence if:

  • The offender intentionally touches the victim AND
  • The touching is sexual (see above) AND
  • The victim does not consent to the touching AND
  • The offender does not reasonably believe that the victim consents.

By definition, sexual assault is a non-consensual offence. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) must prove that the victim did not consent and the offender did not reasonably believe that she did.

“Things what X done to me, pinned me to the couch and had sex with me and his friends have filmed it on their phones and they’ve all had copies of it, and you learn to feel numb, when they’re hitting ya and doing things to ya, you learn to feel numb…I’m fucking crying me heart out inside but I can’t show it, because I had to learn. Like since I’ve been in here I haven’t stopped crying cos I can, just cos I can”

Suvivor


Law




Resources

Sex With Someone Who Doesn’t Want to is Rape

Zoe’s Story

Tea and consent