Sexual Violence

Sexual assault is forced or unwanted sexual activity.  The force involved can be actual or implied and can come from threats, tone of voice, physical violence or weapons.

Sexual assault is also sexual activity without consent whether or not force is used.  This includes engaging in sexual activity with someone who is temporarily unable to understand or control his or her conduct because of a controlled or intoxicating substance or a person who for any reason is not able to physically/verbally communicate (un)willingness to engage in sexual activity.

Sexual assault can occur between people who just met, dated a few times, are (or were) married or are strangers.

It is an act of violence that has nothing to do with sexual arousal, the way the victim dressed, behaviours preceding or following the assault, the gender or sexual orientation of the victim and/or perpetrator.

The unwanted pursuit of one person by another that involves the perpetrator threatening or causing fear in the victim.

Both men and women can be victims or perpetrators of stalking.  The majority of stalkers have been in or still are in relationships with their victims, but a significant percentage either never met their victims or were just acquaintances.

Stalking behaviours include but are not limited to following, surveillance, inappropriate approaches or confrontations, unwanted telephone calls, letters, gifts, pages or e-mail, damaging property, threats, physical and/or sexual assaults.

Domestic Violence

The infliction of pain and/or injury to a spouse or live-in partner by the use of physical, emotional, verbal and/or sexual abuse in order to gain and maintain power and control.

Forms of abusive behaviours include but are not limited to hitting, kicking, biting, stalking, name-calling, attacking sexual parts of body, forced sexual activity, controlling all the money, destroying property, making threats and treating partner like a servant.

Domestic violence can be found in all age, racial, socioeconomic, educational, occupational, and religious groups as well as in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

Anyone can be a victim and anyone can choose to become a perpetrator of domestic violence.

Dating and Intimate Partner Violence

Involves the same tactics and abuses used in domestic violence but it occurs between people who are not and never have been married to each other, who don’t or haven’t lived together or same-sex couples whether they live together or not.

Warning signs include but are not limited to jealousy, controlling, possessive, verbally abusive, sexually demanding, violent temper, rapidly changing moods and/or excessive alcohol or drug use.

Galway Rape Crisis Centre
Tel: 1850 355 355 or 091 589495

Tel: 091 565985

The National University of Ireland, Galway Student Counselling Service wishes to thank the University of Louiseville. PEACC Program, The Center for Women and Families for granting permission to reproduce this fact sheet.