Frequently Asked Questions - Sexual Trauma

What if I didn’t fight back during sexual assault?: 

Sexual assault can occur without the use of physical force. It is very common for people to freeze or submit in the face of sexual violence/coercion; these are two ways our bodies are hardwired to respond to danger. Whether you fight back or not, you are not to blame for another person violating your boundaries.

What if I didn't say "no"? 

Only a freely and actively given “yes” counts as consent. Silence or a “yes” obtained through coercion/manipulation do not count as consent. Any sexual behavior in the absence of consent is sexual assault/abuse. It is not your fault that another person ignored or failed to ask about your boundaries. (Please see the What is Consent Page and Examples of Consent Page for more information.) 

Can it still be sexual abuse if it wasn't physical?

Yes. No contact sexual abuse is a form of sexual abuse. This is abuse that does not involve physical touch with the perpetrator. Including but not limited to online grooming, showing/making porn, touching oneself in front of a child, making a child touch themselves, and flashing/exposure.

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Abuse Trauma