Sexual health advice
for everyone

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is a crime that can be committed by all genders against anyone.

What is sexual assault?

Different types of sexual assault include:

  • Being forced or pressured into sex acts which you don’t want to do
  • Objects or parts of the body (like a finger) being put into someone’s vagina or anus when that person didn’t want it to happen
  • Someone being touched in a sexual way that makes him or her feel uncomfortable or frightened. This could be through their clothes (like pinching someone’s bum)
  • Someone being made to masturbate
  • Any other form of physical closeness that happens without consent. This might include watching other people having sex, ‘sexting’ (texting sexual images), and forcing involvement in watching or making pornography

What is rape?

The legal definition of rape is when someone puts their penis in another person's vagina, anus or mouth, without the person's permission; the law calls this 'without consent'.

If you’ve experienced sexual assault or rape then you may wish to get help. You may feel confused about what has happened, upset or numb. You may feel alone, angry, ashamed or frightened – these and many other thoughts and feelings are all normal responses.

You can get help from The Bridge on 0117 342 6999. They will listen to you even if you find it very hard to talk. They will believe you. They will explain the help that is available to you and support you to decide what you want to do next. You don't have to report to the police if you choose not to.

If you are a young person, you may also want to speak to an adult that you trust who may be able to support you.