A topic of displeasure for many, perhaps because it is part of the darkest nature of the human being, but we can all agree that it is a subject rejected by society today and considered one of the worst crimes.

Affecting a large percentage of the population every year, especially the female gender and in all kinds of areas, sexual violence has been persecuted for years as an aberrational and unforgivable crime in the eyes of society.

In this article, you will learn about what sexual violence really is and how it can be dealt with today, in different ways, knowing the appropriate means.

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is that act or desire to consummate sex with another person, that unlike sexual relations or making love , sexual violence is committed without someone’s consent, seen in different ways, such as offensive comments, harassment and violations.

In this sense, sexual violence is considered a crime, one of the most serious in all countries, whose penalties are strict and not light at all. However, denouncing sexual offenders is not an easy task, due to the threats they leave behind on their victims.

On the other hand, sexual violence is suffered very often by women for the simple fact of being female, as mentioned by Dr. Judith Toro Merlo “Violence against women is one of the greatest attacks committed against human rights in our time”.

Characteristics of sexual violence

Sexual violence is widespread and there are different ways to recognize it, it is important to do so because sometimes it can even be more present than you think. It is important to have attentive eyes everywhere, so you must recognize the following:

Occurs by force and without consent

Sexual violence is not justified, because it occurs by force, in the harshest ways, and as previously stated, the consent of the victim is not obtained. Many men take advantage of the physical weakness of certain women, unable to defend themselves.

It affects people of any age and condition

Sexual violence persecutes women and men equally, and above all, no exceptions are made in age or conditions. Disabled people are more likely to suffer sexual abuse in an easier way, as are young people and children. Minors are persecuted by rapists and pedophiles.

It is usually executed by people known to the victim

In addition to the fact that it can occur by strangers and criminals, sexual violence can be caused by people you know, who destroy the trust that was given to them. Thus ruining the life of the victim in an unimaginable way. It is difficult to know who is trusted in these cases.

It is considered a violent crime often unreported

Sexual violence is not respected or protected in the eyes of the law, as it is a violent and unforgivable criminal activity.

However, due to the threats and psychological fear caused to the victims, it is more difficult for them to have the courage to report the sexual crime to the authorities, despite this, the reports today are larger little that criminals can hide.

It usually triggers traumatic and irreversible effects on the victim

Sexual violence is a trauma that can haunt the victim for a long time, it becomes a sensitive and personal issue, from which sensitivity draws all its limits. The effects can be seen throughout the years, not just in the days to come.

The most frequent victims are usually children and women.

The female gender and infants are the most affected by sexual violence; women for the simple fact of being women, because they are considered fragile and very easy to abuse by force. Infants can be abused by pedophiles and manipulative adults, taking advantage of the innocence of certain children.

Types of sexual violence

There are many types of sexual violence, apart from those already known in society, it will be reviewed and new ones will be known that have passed before our eyes without realizing it:

sexual assault

Sexual assault refers to any attack for sexual purposes, even touching someone through their clothing without their consent is considered assault.

However, it is also forced, this can lead to rape, oral sex and sodomy. All this occurs without the consent of the person, in this case specifically, the victim.

child abuse

Pedophilia is frowned upon throughout the world and is rejected by all of society, child abuse is the act of having sexual relations with people under the age of 18, such as adolescents, young children and even babies in the worst case.

Those who commit these crimes are known as pedophiles or pedophiles (which can also refer to abusive priests).

partner abuse

It can also be considered sexual assault within a relationship. Partner abuse or gender violence is when a person is physically and emotionally mistreated in a relationship.

Said abuse occurs through physical means such as beatings and sexual acts, also through psychological means such as contempt and hurtful words. It can occur on dates or in intimate moments of the couple who suffers from it.


The clear definition of incest is having formal and sexual relations with a relative of the same blood, although it is taboo, incest is also considered a sexual crime.

It happens a lot in infants, since incest is an exercise of power against children that can occur violently, but not forced at the moment, but takes a slow and tortuous dynamic for those who suffer it. As in the cases of abusive uncles, who have given the world much to talk about.

sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is also known as harassment, unlike other types of sexual violence, this can be seen in workplaces.

It consists of unwanted sexual conduct, making the victim who is harassed by someone else feel offended, uncomfortable or humiliated. It can be brought on physically, verbally, and even through facial signs and innuendo.

sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation, in present times, is suffered more by the female gender, it is about the use of people to provide sexual services on the street, privately, in clubs and other places that may even be outlawed.

This is where prostitution and illegal pornography (see child pornography) are born, which can be suffered by children, adolescents and even men, however the strong blow has been taken by women. It is considered a crime and is not viewed commercially or legally.

unwanted contact

It’s a kind of mild sexual violence, still quite awkward for someone’s personal space. Where people do not want to be touched, kissed or hugged by someone else, so they act without the consent of the other. This creates tension and unpleasant moments. Girls can suffer it during their puberty from daring boys.

public masturbation

It is a depraved act, in which a person masturbates or stimulates their private parts in public and without any respect or consideration for those who may be present (children, the elderly, etc.).

It is considered a crime in most countries, being very frowned upon. It can also happen to other people, who can suffer from close people such as perverted friends or relatives.

genital exhibition

This type of sexual violence is not entirely physical, but it can psychologically harm the victim who suffers it. It is about showing the private parts before one or a group of people.

It is an easy crime to commit, since despite the fact that the consent of the victims is not obtained either, they are forced to see the other person exhibiting themselves.

On the other hand, it can also happen that the victim is forced to undress herself by her abusers. This affects the victims in the long term, causing nightmares and bitter memories of the event.

What to do in a situation of sexual violence?

Sexual violence can happen to anyone, even if it is not wanted, it is necessary to be aware of what measures should be taken in such a situation, so that it does not happen to you or someone close.

Find an escape route and get safe

At the moment of suffering sexual violence, the environment must be quickly analyzed, to find an escape route or a blind spot for it, to be safe and away from the captor or abuser. It is crucial to be able to escape from the place where the victim is.

Ask for help

One should seek help from people nearby, preferably in a public place or from law enforcement (such as the local police). Explaining the situation, showing evidence and requesting immediate and necessary help.

Contact someone you trust

If you do not want to seek help from security forces or people in public places, you should immediately contact someone you trust, a family member or a close friend. Requesting your presence and your help, also, explaining the situation and where you are located.

not showering immediately

It may sound uncomfortable, you can refuse at first because sexual violence is a dirty act, however this helps investigations and complaints. Since any DNA evidence about the aggressor is collected from his victim, such as semen, saliva or fingerprint samples.

In addition to not showering, it is important not to cut your nails or wash any part of your body or face.

receive medical care

After the sexual violence has been affected, one must immediately go to a predetermined means, to review and treat the injuries.

As well as, take tests on possible diseases such as STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) or unwanted pregnancies. The doctor will also provide the appropriate treatment that should be required.

Report the abuser to the authorities

Reporting sexual violence only depends on the person who suffered it, they must have the courage to bring the aggressor to justice. It happens that in countries like Ecuador, there are estimates that of all cases of sexual abuse, only 15% are reported, and only 5.3% are punished. As Ecuador explained in an interview at UNICEF called “Now that you see it, say no more “ .

The complaints can be presented by people or institutions, as well as police forces, who take the complaints to the prosecutor’s office for their respective trial.

Treatment after an act of sexual violence

There are countless treatments that victims of sexual violence must obtain, whether it be therapies or medications, to prevent future episodes of severe trauma. Here we have compiled the most important ones to know:

Support and respect for the victim

The victim who suffers sexual abuse requires respect and tolerance from the beginning, since it is a severe and delicate crime. Support both from the family and even a close social circle.

It requires company without bad intentions, distractions and above all conversations. Victims usually repress their feelings a lot, so it is important to vent with the right friends.

Institutions and medical pages such as Version for Professionals mention that “they may also need support from a team of specialists to manage their own negative reactions.”

Tests and medicines for the prevention of STDs

The victim of sexual violence requires prior examinations after having suffered the crime.

Said medical examinations are to detect any type of disease, such as HIV, Hepatitis B or even Gonorrhea among other unfairly transmitted diseases.

As well as treatments in case diseases are detected, recommended by a specific doctor, who provides medical transcriptions on antiretroviral drugs, antibiotics and emergency contraceptives, as the case may be.

Access to emergency contraception

As previously stated, a victim of sexual violence has access, allowed by the doctor, to emergency contraception, which is highly recommended after sexual assaults and abuses.

The two ways to receive a contraceptive is through the well-known emergency pill or DIUS. It all depends on the prescription that the examining doctor recommends.

Guidance and counseling for victims and relatives

The victim of sexual violence may suffer severe episodes of anxiety and severe trauma. For this reason, it requires orientation, both for the victim and for the families, seeking to help in the correct environment.

It can be guided by a psychologist or even by plans and protocols for counseling and attention to victims, for any type of sexual violence. The protocols are directed by international institutions, such as UNICEF , an organization part of the United Nations.

psychological therapy

Therapies are necessary activities to overcome crises due to sexual violence, with a great option, since they are endorsed by many institutions and there are different therapies, depending on the comfort of the victim.

Many therapies used for the psychological treatment of a victim of sexual violence are individual and group therapies with a psychodynamic and psychoanalytic approach. In this way, the victim can speak to trusted people and vent repressed feelings or memories.

How to avoid sexual violence?

Although it has been said that sexual violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age or gender, it is important to stress that there are ways to prevent sexual violence, and even suppress its spread. These are the possible ways:

Report sexual offenders

It is the most important step to deal with sexual violence, also because reporting it is a right that every citizen can exercise in any state.

Reporting a sexual offender is also a way to prevent offenders from committing other crimes against other people, since you will know that their conduct is criminal.

In this sense, many countries publish processes or manuals to report correctly, such as the case of Venezuela with an Online Complaints Manual . In Spain with the approval of a draft of a Law Against Sexual Violence , resulting in more than 1,000 complaints of assaults and abuses.

Finally, other countries such as Mexico where the federal government and institutions such as Vivir Mejor created a protocol for investigations and combating sexual violence within that nation, with parameters to follow and study.

Obtain information about entities and organizations that provide support

Depending on each state, many institutions or organizations have international jurisdiction to provide support against sexual violence and its different branches. Whether with procedures, therapies, help manuals among other tools.

Institutions and a branch of the United Nations are also necessary, such as UNHCR , which fights against sexual exploitation and abuse, or even UN Women , which also publishes figures, facts, and provides support in cases of sexual abuse or harassment.

Educate children and adolescents about inappropriate sexual behavior

It is important to keep young people educated and informed about sexuality and the right behaviors, as well as those that can be harmful. Applicable in schools, universities and in the same homes.

It is a duty of society to educate the new generations, in this way children or adolescents will be fully informed of the issue, as well as, they will know how to deal with it if such situations arise.

Helping victims or potential victims

If you get to know or run into someone who has experienced sexual violence, give them your support no matter what. You can also help her emotionally, however she feels comfortable.

Motivating the victim to report the abuse suffered is also part of the help that is provided. Don’t think about it so much, that person suffered more than you and requires attention.

If you go out alone, trust your instincts

If you come to walk alone down a street or somewhere, you must trust your perception, you must know how to differentiate normal life situations, as well as those situations that seem strange and do not bring a good aura.

You must be prepared or prepared for any situation and thus you will protect yourself from being a victim of an abuser. Being alone, you must trust yourself.

Avoid surrounding yourself with people you don’t trust

You can surround yourself with many friends and acquaintances, but for this reason you must also analyze and fully understand the intentions of each one. When there is someone you really dislike and you do not trust, take your distance.

A sexual offender can be where you least expect it, it is better to distrust someone than to fall victim into their own hands, not just you, someone close to you.

When you go out pay attention to your surroundings

One must analyze the environment around him, whether it is big or small. You should be aware of the groups of people you meet, as some can be strange and dangerous, you just won’t know at the time.

You must analyze the inputs and outputs. As well as where you will be safest and where you feel most comfortable, without surrounding yourself with strange groups.

Avoid abandoned sites

Never go near abandoned places or sites, a large portion of criminals and extremely dangerous people without morals, such as rapists, usually gather here.

In case you find yourself near one, get away from the place immediately, as well as try not to find yourself alone, but with a more or less large group of people.

Keep charged and get the cell phone

When you are away from home, you must always have a phone with a battery, always at hand and with the possibility of calling.

In this way, you will be able to communicate with relatives and emergency lines such as 911 or whatever number is from your country of origin, in case situations turn murky.

At parties or meetings, take care of what you consume and try to be accompanied

An intoxicated or drugged victim is easy prey for a sexual abuser, so at a party, disco or meeting, always serve drinks and meals yourself.

This is because other people may have malicious intentions to plant some substance in our drinks. Therefore, responsibility and being a self-dependent person is necessary for this.

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