Sexual violence is sexual activity that you have not agreed to – such as sexual intercourse or sexual touching.

It may be a one-off event, or part of an abuse pattern of behaviour that someone uses to gain power and control.

For more information about types of sexual violence visit 1800 RESPECT.


What is consent?

Consent or agreement to sexual activity must be given freely.

You cannot agree to sexual activity if you:

  • are under the age of consent
  • say or do nothing to communicate agreement
  • are asleep, unconscious or so affected by alcohol or a drug that you cannot rationally agree
  • are unable to understand what is happening
  • only agree or submit because you have been forced or threatened
  • were overpowered by the nature or the position of the other person/s
  • were tricked or reasonably thought the other person/s was somebody else.


It is important to know that if you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, you are not alone. There are a number of services available to provide you with support and advice, or you can make a report to police.

Find out more on the following pages: