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Lesser Known Forms of Sexual Abuse You NEED to be Aware of

Non-consensual condom removal and grey rape are among some relatively lesser-known forms of sexual assault.

Updated
Gender
3 min read
Though an open conversation has begun, there’s still a lot about sexual assault and abuse that we don’t talk about.
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In the last one week, Indian social media has seen more accounts of sexual harassment and assault surface than it has ever before. Under the wing of the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, survivors have found a voice. And as that rolled into a collective call for justice, we also saw one too many accused actually come out to confess and apologise.

The fight, however, is nowhere close to an end.

The conversation about sexual misconduct – in workplaces, homes and academic institutes – has barely begun. Pink may have raked in good money at the box office, but consent is still not a clear subject to many. Along with that, the general understanding of what constitutes sexual misconduct is also quite blurry among a large number of people.

To take this conversation further, let’s discuss a few forms of sexual abuse/assault that you may not have heard spoken of explicitly – but are just as horrid as the ones we openly talk about.

Lesser Known Forms of Sexual Abuse You NEED to be Aware of
Photo: The Quint

Non-consensual condom removal, more commonly known as stealthing, is when after a person consents to safe sex, the male partner covertly removes the condom during intercourse. This not only leaves the other person at risk of sexually-transmitted disease and – in a woman’s case – unwanted pregnancy, but is a clear violation of consent.

Often passed off as a 'sexual trend', stealthing is very much an assault that has sent many to jail in different countries.

Lesser Known Forms of Sexual Abuse You NEED to be Aware of
Photo: The Quint

Many a times, an abuser uses gaslighting to make a sexual abuse/assault victim question their own recollection of the incident. Apart from that, in an abusive relationship. abusers gaslight partners to doubt themselves and, in turn, trust the partner.

Gaslighting not only leaves the victim in a state of mental trauma, but also enables a sexual abuser to get away with their crime.

Lesser Known Forms of Sexual Abuse You NEED to be Aware of
(Photo: The Quint)

'Grey rape' is when a clear 'yes' for consent is not uttered. It includes sexual intercourse where the victim may have been drunk, unconscious or reluctant — thus, making it rape.

The concept of ‘grey rape’ is, in itself, problematic as it feeds a victim’s self-doubt. It also empowers the abuser with yet another defence of the victim’s lack of consent not having been ‘clear enough’.

Lesser Known Forms of Sexual Abuse You NEED to be Aware of
(Photo: The Quint)

The term ‘hoovering’, as is obvious, comes from the concept of using a vacuum cleaner – the idea being that the abuser ‘sucks’ the victim into an abusive relationship.

Hoovering is commonly used as an arsenal in sexually abusive relationships to manipulate a partner who had separated from the abuser, or who had been dumped. After a long period of no contact, abusers use emotional triggers and their vulnerability to convince the victims to get back into a relationship that is/has been harmful to them in the past.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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