Sexual violence can happen to anyone and no-one deserves it or ask for it to happen to them. There is no excuse for sexual violence and all of the responsibility lies completely with the offender. If you have been raped or experienced any other kind of sexual violence, no matter:
It was not your fault and you did not deserve this. There are various kinds of sexual violence, including : rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape within marriage or a relationships, forced marriage, honour-based violence, female genital mutilation, ritual abuse, child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity. Sexual violence can be committed by a complete stranger, or by someone you known and even trusted, such as a friend, colleague, family member, partner or ex-partner.
So what is it?
Rape occurs when a male forces his penis into the mouth, anus or vagina of another person when that person doesn't want him to do so. The most important thing to remember is that you should never be forced to have sex when you don't want to.
Sexual assault is a crime that can be committed by both men and women against men or women.
A crime has been committed if any of the following occurs when you don't want it to:
Honour base violence
This is explained within this website under ‘What is a Crime’
Female genital mutilation
Female genital mutilation (sometimes referred to as female circumcision) refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is illegal in the UK and this act should not be allowed to be inflicted on you. Gwent Police take this crime very seriously and would actively support and investigate any reports made to them.
It has been estimated that over 25,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of female genital mutilation in the UK each year, and that in excess of 50,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of this act. However, the true extent of this illegal act is not known, due to the "hidden" nature of the crime.
Child sexual exploitation
Sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse and it illegal.
This type of crime can happen to boys as well as girls,. and has no barriers in relation to background or upbringing. It affects all ethnicities and takes place anywhere in the world, including here in Gwent.
Any young person could become a victim of child sexual exploitation and the impact on the victim is not just physical but emotionally and psychologically devastating. This act is deliberate and the only person responsible is the offender. It is a deplorable crime to exploit a child purely for sexual gratification. Gwent Police, Connect Gwent and other partners take this crime extremely seriously and will assist not only in the investigation but in the on-going support needs to help you as a victim and their families recover.
There are three main types of Child Sexual Exploitation
1. Organised sexual exploitation – this is where a young person is passed through networks of offenders, possibly over different areas or even countries, where they are forced into sexual activity with multiple men. Some of this activity is described as serious organised crime and can involve the organised ‘buying and selling’ of young people by perpetrators.
2. Inappropriate relationships – this usually involves one offender who has inappropriate control and influence over a young person. There is often a large age gap between the victim and the offender and the victim may even believe they are in a loving relationship.
3. ‘Boyfriend’ model – this is where the offender befriends and grooms the young person into a ‘relationship’ and then convinces or forces them to have sex with friends or associates. Peer exploitation is where young people are forced or coerced into sexual activity by peers and associates. Sometimes this can be associated with gang activity, but not always.
It can happen through direct contact and through technology such as mobile phones and the internet.
Some Indicators of Child Sexual Exploitation
Some of the indications that a child may be being exploited are:
Where can I get help or further information?
If the rape or sexual violence has occurred recently, you should call 999 to allow Gwent Police and other support agencies deal with it as urgently and effectively as possible.
If you have been or are the victim of sexual violence, or if you know of a family member or friend who has, Gwent Police would prefer to speak to you on the phone (on 101) or in person. However, if contacting them online is the safest way for you to get in touch, complete the secure online reporting form on this website.
Other agencies that can help you