Types of sexual crimes

There’s a misconception that rape is the only type of sexual crime that can be committed against someone. However, sexual crimes occur in many forms and anyone can be a victim. It’s important to be aware of these crimes. Here’s more.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable, threatened, or scared. It can come in the form of forced, or unwanted sex or sexual acts. It also involves child sexual abuse, which occurs when power is used over a minor (under 16) to involve them in unwanted sexual activities.


Stealthing is when someone who was initially wearing a condom during sex, removes the condom, without the consent of the person that they’re having sex with. This sexual crime can result in an unwanted pregnancy, STI/HIV infection, and trauma for the person who was assaulted. 

Sexual grooming

Grooming is when someone, who is usually older, builds a relationship and emotional connection with a minor or young person so they can manipulate, exploit, and abuse them sexually. It usually involves inappropriate sexual touching or activities. For example, viewing pornography with a minor.

Grooming can take place over a short or long period of time, from weeks to years and the signs are not always easy to spot. Groomers may also build relationships with the young person’s family or friends to make them seem trustworthy.

Intimate partner sexual violence

Intimate Partner Sexual Violence involves controlling your partner through fear, threats, or violence, with the purpose of forcing non-consensual sexual activity. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you owe your partner sex. Sex should ALWAYS be consensual.

If you’ve experienced any of these crimes, it can be hard to report it for many reasons, but it’s an important decision you should make. Ending an abusive relationship or reporting it isn’t something that you have to do alone. Reaching out for help from friends and loved ones can be your first step in this process, when you’re ready. You can also contact the Rape Crisis 24-hour crisis line on 021 447 9762, POWA on 011 642 4345/6, or Stop Gender Violence helpline on 0800-150-150. If your life is in danger, you should contact the SAPS on 10111 or 0800 150 150.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).