Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is a form of coercive control and occurs when somebody forces, pressures or tricks another person into doing sexual things they do not want to do. Even if you are married or in a relationship, any forced sexual experience that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable can be considered sexual abuse.

Sexual Abuse - Coercive control Article

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Reproductive abuse is a form of sexual abuse that removes the ability to make personal choices over reproduction. It may include impacting choices about period or menstrual cycles, pregnancy, birth and contraceptive methods.

Rachel lives in rural WA. She has been dating Tom for the past few months. They met at work. Recently, Rachel has felt under pressure to engage in sexual intimacy. While she has explained to Tom that she is not ready yet, he won’t take no for an answer. He has even suggested they have a threesome with one of their colleagues. When she confronted him about it, he told her it was a ‘joke’ and that she is too sensitive. It continues to make Rachel feel uncomfortable especially as they work together. She wants to end the relationship but is worried she will have to change jobs to get away from him.

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Sexual Abuse

  • Posting sexual images of you on the internet without your permission
  • Sexually degrading comments
  • Forced marriage
  • Female circumcision and genital mutilation
  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Being physically restrained during sex (e.g. being tied up)
  • Forced prostitution
  • Restricting your access to birth control or purposely sabotaging it's effectiveness
  • Forced pregnancy and abortion

Find Support to Healthy Practices offers a free step-by-step guide on personal safety, support services and money matters for people facing family and domestic violence. If you are experiencing sexual abuse, you may find these website sections particularly helpful.

1. Prepare

2. Act Now

Sexual Assault Resource Centre

Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline


Learn more about coercive control behaviours, complete our Coercive Control Self Assessment