What is sexual assault?

CASA Forum defines sexual assault as any behaviour of a sexual nature that makes someone feel uncomfortable, frightened, intimidated or threatened.

It is sexual behaviour that someone has not agreed to, where another person uses physical or emotional force against them.

It can include anything from sexual harassment through to life threatening rape. Some of these acts are serious indictable crimes.

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How do I tell someone I have been sexually abused?

If you are a young person who has been or is currently being sexually abused, you might feel confused about what is happening to you and unsure about how to make it stop.

The idea of telling someone can feel really scary, especially if you are worried about getting into trouble yourself or getting the person who has done this to you in trouble. It’s really normal to feel this way.

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Responding to children and young people who disclose child sexual abuse

A child or young person is sexually abused when any person uses his or her authority over the child/young person to involve the child/young person in sexual activity.

Child sexual abuse involves a wide range of sexual activity including fondling genitals, masturbation, oral sex, vaginal penetration, anal penetration by a finger, penis or other object, voyeurism and exhibitionism. It also includes exploitation through pornography and prostitution.

It is always important to listen, respect and support children who talk to you about an experience of sexual abuse. There are no formulas for talking to them, but below are some guidelines to understanding and responding.

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Men and sexual abuse

If you are a man and you have been sexually abused you are not alone.

You may have been sexually abused in childhood or sexually assaulted as an adult.

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Reporting sexual abuse to the police

Making a decision about whether or not to report sexual abuse to the police can feel like a stressful and overwhelming experience for many people.

In our experience, having information upfront about what is involved and expected through the legal process, can help individuals to make the best decision.

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WestCASA aims to both facilitate the recovery and healing of victim/survivors of sexual assault and work toward the elimination of sexual violence in society.
The service vision is for a world where everyone lives free from the fear of sexual violence.
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