Sexualized violence is when someone attacks you with words or deeds that are meant sexually and wants to humiliate you with them. This person disrespects your boundaries in order to feel more powerful. This is an injustice and can be severely punished in Germany.
Men and sometimes women exercise sexualized violence. People affected by sexualized violence can be adults or children, and are most often girls and women.
Sexualized violence has many forms:
- Someone talks to you using sexual words and wants to offend you with them.
- Someone touches you on your chest or buttocks, even though you do not want them to.
- Someone bothers you with sexual content on the phone, on the internet or in a text message.
- Someone shows you pornographic pictures or films against your will or without asking you first.
- Somebody forces you into sexual acts or wants you to watch sexual acts.
There are many other forms of sexualized violence. It is important to trust your feelings and take them seriously. No one is allowed to touch you sexually against your will or to commit any act of violence against you. You decide for yourself what you want and what you don't want.
Children can also be victims of sexualized violence.
People who experience sexualized violence often find it hard to seek help. They often feel ashamed or guilty. Getting help is a sign of strength. It shows that you will not just sit back and take it when someone hurts you. Every woman, every man, every girl and every boy has a right to help. You can find information on counselling and help in your area at zanzu.de, by calling the helpline "Violence Against Women" or from independent representatives for issues of sexual child abuse.
Reducing sexual offenses
In order to prevent sexual offenses, there is also help and counselling in Germany for people who have committed sexualized violence, or who fear that they could commit sexualized violence. Men (and women) who have a strong desire to sexually humiliate others can get help before anything happens. For help, see here. Men who are sexually attracted to children or adolescents can get help here .