What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence is any type of sexual activity committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent. The activity can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to engage in unwanted sexual contact or attention.
- Rape or sexual assault
- Child sexual assault and incest
- Sexual assault by a person's spouse or partner
- Unwanted sexual contact/touching
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual exploitations and trafficking
- Exposing one's genitals or naked body to other(s) without consent
- Masturbating in public
- Watching someone engage in private acts without their knowledge or permission
- Posting or sharing sexual pictures of someone without their consent/li>
- Nonconsensual sexting
How big is the problem?
Kentuckians also have their first experience of sexual violence victimization at a younger age than the national average.
What is the impact of sexual violence?
We know that sexual violence has serious, long-lasting impacts on victims, their friends and families, their communities, and society as a whole.
An assault may impact a survivor’s daily life no matter when it happened. Each survivor reacts to sexual violence in their own way. Common emotional, physical, and psychological reactions include: Guilt, shame, fear, numbness, shock, and feelings of isolation. Personal injuries, concerns about pregnancy, or risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and isolation.
How can we stop sexual violence before it starts?
We can stop violence before it starts through high-quality primary prevention work. The CDC has identified five focus areas for effective sexual violence prevention:
 Smith, et al. (2017). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 State Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs-statereportbook.pdf
 Peterson, et al. (2017). Lifetime Economic Burden of Rape Among U.S. Adults. Am J Prev Med 52(6): 691-701. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5438753/pdf/nihms849041.pdf