Nobody, whoever they are, has the right to do something to you, pressure you or make you do something sexual that you don’t want to do. That includes strangers but also people who you know, people in your family or someone you might be in a relationship with.
You have the right to choose what you do and don’t do sexually. This is called consent. If you don’t consent or can’t consent to sex or any kind of sexual activity, that is not ok.
Please note that the following film contains some bad language.
If something is happening to you now, has happened recently or happened a long time ago, there are people who can support you. It is never easy discussing issues relating to sexual violence, but the support that is available will always listen to you, let you know what your options are and let you choose what is best for you.
There is never ever any excuse for sexual violence or abuse and it is never your fault.
If you live in Torbay you can talk to someone about what’s happened to you at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). A SARC offers medical, practical and emotional support. They have specially trained NHS doctors, nurses and support workers to care for you. Their website has lots of information on what to expect if you need to go to a SARC and gives the timescales when they can take samples for forensic evidence. This evidence can be stored while you decide what action you want to take. You can talk to them in confidence and they will explain your options. You can then make informed decisions.
You can also contact Devon Rape Crisis & Sexual Abuse Services for information and advice. They know how difficult it can be to speak to someone about your experiences so offer an email contact service as well as a telephone helpline. You can contact Devon Rape Crisis regardless of how long ago things happened.
First Light provide Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) who support people who have experienced sexual violence or rape. There is more information on their leaflet which you can download.