What is sexual assault?

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any behaviour of a sexual nature that makes someone feel uncomfortable, frightened, intimidated or threatened. 

Sexual assault includes anything from sexual harassment to rape. It is sexual behaviour that a person has not consented to but has been physically or emotionally forced into by another person.

It is never the fault of the victim.

It is an abuse of power.

Examples of sexual assault

The following is a list of examples of sexual assault

  • Any sex act with a child
  • Grooming a child or vulnerable person to participate in sexual activities
  • Rape
  • Drink spiking or using of drugs/alcohol with the intention of impairing a person’s ability to make choices about sexual activity or sex
  • Having sex with someone while they’re asleep or severely affected by drugs/alcohol
  • Forcing someone to watch — or be part of — pornography
  • Unwanted touching or kissing
  • Stalking
  • Coercing or forcing sexual activities
  • Sexual harrasment
  • Exposing genitals or flashing
  • Posting a sexual image online with permission
  • Making rude jokes or suggestions as part of a pattern of intimidating or exploitative behaviour
  • Watching someone — without their consent — when they’re naked or engaged in sexual activities

If you have been sexually assaulted recently and you’re in immediate danger phone Triple Zero 000 or go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital.

Click on our emergency assistance page for more information.

If you have been sexually assaulted — recently or a long time ago — please contact our service on to make an appointment to see one of our counsellors.

If you’re supporting a friend who has experienced sexual assault you can call our service for information on how you can best help them.

Phone the Mackay Women’s Sexual Assault Service on 07 4953 1788 (Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.30pm) or email admin@domesticviolenceservice.com.au.

Sources: Centres Against Sexual Assault, 1800Respect