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Frequently Asked Questions about rape and sexual assault

What should I do if I’m feeling pressured into sex or other things I’m not comfortable with?

People should never feel pressured into sex or doing any kind of sexual activity they don’t want to do. Everyone has their own limit. It’s totally normal to kiss and do other stuff with someone but not want to have full sex.

Even if it’s your partner and you’ve had sex with them before, it doesn’t mean you should have to do it again.

If you need help coping with pressure to do things you aren’t comfortable with, help is available. Click here for details of organisations who can help.

Who should I talk to if I’ve been sexually assaulted or raped?

First understand that this was not your fault. There was nothing you could have done to prevent the assault.  The fault lies entirely with the person who raped or sexually assaulted you.

It is important you tell someone you trust as soon as possible so you can get the support you need. This could be, for example, a friend, parent, teacher, or school nurse.  You could also speak to the police. For details of organisations who can to help you click here.

If you’ve been raped and you’re not out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender you might be worried about getting help for fear that you might be outed in the process. It’s really important that you seek help as soon as you can.  Any information you provide to the police or other organisations about your sexual orientation or gender identity will be treated confidentially.  There are organisations who can provide specific advice and who understand what you’re going through.

What should I do if I’m worried about a friend?

If your friend has been forced or pressured to have sex when they didn’t want to, that is rape and a crime.  You can help them understand that what happened wasn’t their fault and there was nothing they could have done to prevent it. Let them know there are people who can help them and provide support and guidance.  You can speak to any of these organisations here to get more support and if you ever feel that your friend is in immediate danger, call the police on 999.

What should I do if I think I’ve pressured someone into sex?

If your partner doesn’t want to have sex, it’s very important that you accept that and don’t try to change their mind. You can contact Respect Phoneline here for support and advice if you feel that you may have pressured your partner into sex or sexual activity.

I’m a lesbian and my girlfriend forced me to have sex. Does that mean I wasn’t raped?

If a woman has sex or does something sexual with another woman who didn’t want to and didn’t give consent, this is ‘sexual assault’. It might have a different name, but the crime and the consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator are still very serious.

I’m a boy and my girlfriend keeps pressuring me to have sex even when I ask her to stop. Is this rape?

If a woman has sex or does something sexual when the man didn’t want her to and didn’t give consent, it is still ‘sexual assault’. It’s not OK and is still a serious crime with consequences.

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