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Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2024

not ok

This week marks Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week which is the UK's national week to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence and to provide an opportunity for any organisation or individual to engage in dialogue.

What is Sexual Assault?

'Sexual assault' is a term often used to describe any kind of sexual violence or activity (including online) that was unwanted or involved one or more of the following: pressure, manipulation, bullying, intimidation, threats, deception and/or force.

Some types of sexual violence

  • Attempted rape
  • Rape
  • Assault by penetration
  • Child sexual assault
  • Sexual touching
  • Sexual harassment
  • Indecent exposure
  • Cyber flashing
  • Spiking (like food and drinks)

Myths surrounding sexual assault

Many of the myths surrounding sexual assault can make those who have experienced it feel as though they are somehow to blame.

You are never to blame for any sexual assault that happens to you.  100% of the blame lies with the perpetrator or perpetrators.

Some important things to remember about sexual assault are:

  • It can happen to anyone regardless of their age or gender.
  • It does not always leave visible injuries.
  • It does not have to involve physical violence or weapons.
  • It can be perpetrated by a stranger or someone that the person knows or trusts like a partner or ex-partner, family member, friend, teacher, or colleague.

Local support available

RSACC's confidential, anonymous and local Emotional Support services are available to any survivor who lives/works or studies in Darlington or County Durham and has been directly or indirectly affected by sexual violence.

You can contact them on 0300 222 5730 or .

More information can be found at

'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham