Sexual violence is a general term used to describe behaviour of a sexual nature that is unwanted or takes place without consent. We refer to this as ‘sexual misconduct’.
Sexual misconduct covers a range of inappropriate and unwanted behaviour, which can occur both on and offline. Sexual misconduct can include but is not limited to:
- Abusive or degrading remarks
- Stalking and harassment
- Taking or sharing of private images without consent
- Unwanted touching
- Rape and sexual assault
Consent is always required before engaging in any form of sexual activity, regardless of the parties’ relationship or sexual history together. Consent must be informed, freely given and mutual. Consent can be withdrawn at any time and by either party, and consent to one form of sexual activity (e.g. kissing) does not mean that consent has been given for any other form of sexual activity. Consent cannot be given where a person is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs and is therefore unable to give meaningful consent.
Experiencing sexual misconduct can be distressing and confusing. Whether it happened recently or in the past, or is happening now, finding help and support to think through your options and next steps is important.
If you would like to talk to us about this, please consider coming to speak with an advisor at the Student Wellbeing Centre who will be able to offer you support and talk through your choices with you.
This section of the website contains further information on sexual misconduct and details of support available both inside and outside of the University.