Escape Site

Keeping the Peace: Coercion and sexual violence

Coercion and Sexual Violence are issues that thousands face each year. As part of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, we want to look at what it means and how you can get help.

Sexual violence is a crime which affects women, men and children, often throughout their lives. If someone forces, coerces or manipulates another person into unwanted sexual activity – they are committing an act of sexual violence.



There are many types of sexual violence:

  • rape
  • sexual assault
  • refusing to wear a condom
  • incest
  • unwanted sexual contact/touching
  • sexual harassment
  • sexual exploitation
  • showing one’s genitals or naked body to other(s) without consent
  • masturbating in public
  • watching someone in a private act without their knowledge or permission
  • revenge porn
We support victims of domestic violence and abuse. A vast number of our clients have experienced some form of sexual violence. And many of our clients do not disclose sexual violence at first. However, when we discuss examples of coercion with them, the vast majority tell us they have had sex to ‘keep the peace’. Clients have told us, ‘It’s easier just to give him/her what she/he wants.’ One client said, ‘I feel like he emotionally manipulates me to have sex with him.’ In a controlling relationship, where one person in the relationship has power over the other, many victims will experience unwanted sex under nonviolent duress from partners.
Sexual coercion can be confusing and deeply traumatic. You might even believe you haven’t been raped or assaulted since you said ‘yes’. But true consent is given voluntarily. If you only consented because the other person was pressuring you or threatening you, actually you did not consent.

At Paragon we want to raise awareness of the link between coercive control and sexual violence. As a result,  we call on the government, police, courts and Crown Prosecution Service to do more to protect victims of these heinous crimes.

Coercion and Sexual Violence resources

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and would like support, please contact us

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