Chapter 16 – Management of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence in Primary Health Care

Adult sexual assault


The Personal Safety Survey defines adult sexual violence as the occurrence, attempt or threat of sexual assault experienced by a person since the age of 15.(9) There are two components of sexual violence:

Sexual assault: an act of a sexual nature carried out against a person’s will through the use of physical force, intimidation or coercion, including any attempts to do this. This includes rape, attempted rape, aggravated sexual assault (assault with a weapon), indecent assault, penetration by objects, forced sexual activity that did not end in penetration and attempts to force a person into sexual activity. Incidents so defined would be an offence under state and territory criminal law. Sexual threat: the threat of acts of a sexual nature that were made face-to-face where the person believed it was able to and likely to be carried out.(10)

Sexual threat and harassment includes a range of acts such as sexualised bullying, which can increasingly occur in an online or virtual medium.

Note that laws around consent to sex vary between states and territories. See Appendix B – Legislation for age of consent to sexual activity in Chapter 19: Legal Consideration in Reproductive and Sexual Health for ... Buy now

Presentation and disclosure of sexual assault

Buy now

What should I do as a clinician?

Buy now

Medical management

Buy now