What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact, harassment, or exposure. This can include words and actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will.
People may use force, threats, manipulation or coercion to commit sexual violence. Sexual violence can be committed without the knowledge or consent of the victim, or against a person who is unable to give consent. Most offenders know the victims they select. People who commit sexual offenses against their friends, family, classmates, dates, neighbors and co-workers are rich, middle class and poor, are adolescents, adults and elders, and may victimize people of the opposite gender or their own.
Some forms of sexual violence may not be legally considered a crime, but this does not
make the act(s) any less harmful.
Forms of sexual violence include:
- Sexual assault
- Child sexual assault
- Date and acquaintance rape
- Grabbing or groping
- Sexting without permission
- Ritual abuse
- Commercial sexual exploitation (Example: prostitution)
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual or homophobic-based bullying
- Exposure and voyeurism
- Forced participation in the production or viewing of pornography
- Any other unwanted sexual act
Have you ever been abused?
Have you ever been forced to touch, fondle, kiss or have sex against your will? Has a sexual comment ever made you feel uncomfortable?
If you answer yes to either question, free and confidential help is available. It’s not your fault. Sexual assault is never your fault. Offenders use sex as a weapon to
control others – it is a serious crime. Dressing sexy or drinking too much is NOT a crime. Walking alone or asking someone to your bedroom is NOT a crime.
Sexual assault IS always a crime. What happened is not your fault.
I feel angry . . . guilty . . .ashamed . . .confused.
A sexual assault can be a serious life crisis. It is okay to feel many different emotions, including:
- and many more
How can I get help:
1) Call someone you trust for support. To speak with someone privately, call the Maui Sexual Assault Center at 808.873.8624.
2) Go to the nearest hospital for medical attention. If possible, do not shower. Your clothes and body may have evidence the hospital will need. A counselor will go with you; call 808.873.8624.
3) If you choose, report the assault to police. A counselor will go with you; call 808.873.8624.
4) If you need help dealing with your thoughts or feelings, free and confidential counseling is available. 808.873.8624 to speak with a counselor from the Maui Sexual Assault Center.
I know someone who has been sexually assaulted, how can I help?
- Stay calm. Getting upset or angry will help.
- Believe the person. He or she is never at fault.
- Help the person decide what to do next, but do not take control of the situation.
- Suggest going to the hospital. The person might have injuries you cannot see.
- Help the person find counseling. Suggest calling Maui Sexual Assault Center at 808.873.8624, but do not force the person to call.
- Do not gossip. Let the person decide who to tell, if anybody.