Sexual abuse and sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity. There are many different kinds of sexual violence, including but not restricted to: rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape within marriage / relationships, forced marriage, so-called 'honour-based' violence, female genital mutilation, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and ritual abuse. Sexual violence can be perpetrated by a complete stranger, or by someone known and even trusted, such as a friend, colleague, family member, partner or ex-partner. Sexual violence can happen to anyone. No-one ever deserves or asks for it to happen. If you have been raped or experienced any other kind of sexual violence, no matter where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, what you were saying, if you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, it was not your fault and you did not deserve this. Anyone who has experienced rape or any kind of sexual assault or abuse at any time in their life needs to be involved in decisions about what happens next, to be informed enough to make their own choices and to have as much control as possible over their journey.

Case study

Liz was referred to SERICC

Liz has managed to feel much more positive about herself and about the future, and feels confident that she can get to where she wants to be in her life.

Case study

Amirah’s mother called the SERICC Rape Crisis helpline

The counselling service also received a telephone call from Amirah’s sister Anita, requesting an opportunity to talk about how she could support her sister

Related questions

I've just been raped/assaulted – what should I do?

If you decide to report to the police, or if you want a forensic medical examination at the SARC, time is an important consideration. If you want forensic evidence to be collected, you should try and go... Read more

It happened a long time ago – what can I do?

It doesn’t matter how long ago the rape or sexual assault happened.  It still helps to tell someone and to be able to talk about it with people who understand what you are going through.

What sort of help is available for victims of sexual abuse?

The main services are counselling and emotional support, and advocacy services.  Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) provide help for people who have reported to the Police and need support... Read more