If someone makes you feel obligated or forced to do something you don’t want to, you may be experiencing coercion. Sexual coercion is unwanted sexual activity that happens because you are pressured, tricked, threatened, or forced in a non-physical way. This could include:
- Using alcohol or drugs to influence your decision
- Being worn down by someone using guilt, humiliation, and repeated begging
- Someone in a position of power over you to pressure you
- Being lied or promised things that weren’t true
- Threaten to end relationship or spread rumours about you
Anyone can use sexual coercion, but it is usually from someone you already have some type of relationship with.
If there is no enthusiastic and explicit consent, then coercing an individual into any sexual activity is sexual assault. Coercion is when a persons pressures another person to change their no into a yes. This could be pressuring someone to sext, send nudes, or engage in sex. Just because people are in a relationship or they are someone who paid for your drinks, it does not mean that they are owed any sexual activity.
Stealthing is a form of sexual assault. It is the act of covertly removing a condom during sex without affirmative consent. This means changing the condition of consent when consent was given for sex with a condom only. Removal of the condom means you’ve lost the ability to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy or STIs.
Reproductive coercion – sometimes called reproductive control is a form of sexual violence. It describes behaviour that attempts to exert power and control over a woman’s reproductive autonomy. These behaviours might include an intimate partner, usually male, forcing a woman to have a baby, or to terminate a pregnancy, or tampering with contraception such as flushing contraceptive pills down the toilet, deliberately breaking or removing condoms, or removing IUDs by force.
For more information
Office on Women’s Health – Sexual coercion – Note that the services linked on this site are US-based, however, the other information is relevant to Australian readers.