Exeter Community Safety Partnership

Show all parts of this guide

5. Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence and Abuse

Sexual violence and domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone of any gender, sexuality, ethnicity or age. The impacts of living with violence and abuse can be devastating and its effects are far reaching, impacting on individuals, families and communities.

Sexual violence

Sexual violence relates to any unwanted sexual act or activity. It can include, but is not restricted to, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, rape within a relationship, forced marriage, honour-based violence and female genital mutilation. Sexual violence can be perpetrated by anyone – this could be a stranger or someone known to and trusted by the person. Around 1 in 4 women experience sexual assault as an adult and 21% of girls, but only 11% of rapes are reported. A third of children who are abused reach adulthood without telling anyone.

Domestic violence and abuse

Domestic violence and abuse occurs when someone in an intimate personal or family relationship uses violence or abuse to control and have power over the other person. It relates to any event, or pattern or events, where someone has behaved in a threatening, violent or abusive way. The abuse could be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or psychological. Between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 women suffer some domestic abuse during their lives, and about 2 in 5 of all victims of domestic violence are men. National estimates are that a woman may experience 30+ incidents before reporting.

For more information about sexual violence and domestic violence and abuse, and the support available, visit Devon County Council website