Sexual Health D&G

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sexual coercion

Sexual Coercion Self-Check
  • Do you feel you are / have been under pressure to agree to have sex or to do something sexual?
  • Have you been asked to have sex in ways you’re not 100% comfortable / happy with?
  • Do you feel that at times you can’t say NO because you’ve already had sex?
  • Do you feel that you can’t say NO to unprotected sex?
  • Is someone pressuring you to have unprotected sex?
  • Have you been given lots of alcohol “to get tipsy” and then asked to have sex?
  • Have you been told any of the following?
    • …Come on! …It’s time… Everyone’s doing it!
    • …I need to have sex with you to know that you really love me…
    • …What’s the problem…we’ve already done it…
    • …You don’t want everyone to think you’re frigid…
    • …If you don’t have sex with me, I’ll have to leave you…
    • …I’ll have to get it somewhere else…
  • Do you feel / have you felt threatened in any way to agree to have sex?

If you have answered yes to any of the questions then you may be experiencing sexual coercion.

Read on to find out more…

What is sexual coercion?
Sexual coercion happens when someone is put under pressure to agree to have sex.

This pressure is not always obvious, sometimes it can be subtle and can take many different forms:

  • Constantly asking you for sex
  • Trying to convince you to a point that you feel worn out or you feel it would be easier just to say yes
  • Making promises in order to get sex from you e.g. “This is not a one-night-stand; I promise…” “I’ll help you get promoted…”, “I’ll make sure you get an A…”
  • Touching you sexually (when you don’t want to)
  • Lying:
    • Saying they are the same age as you or younger/older than they actually are
    • Saying they love you and that’s why they need to have sex with you
  • Putting emotional pressure on you
    • Telling you that everybody is doing it and it’s weird that you don’t want to
    • Complaining that you don’t love them because you don’t want to do it
  • Telling you it is your duty to have sex with them
  • Making you feel guilty for not doing it e.g. If you really love me…”
  • Accusing you of having an affair to manipulate you into having sex
  • Arguing about not having sex
  • Using alcohol or drugs to encourage you to have sex
  • Blackmailing you
  • Using threats
    • Telling you they would go elsewhere for sex
    • Telling you they’ll end the relationship if you don’t have sex with them

Sexual Coercion is most likely to come from someone you already have some type of relationship with; for example: someone you know, a co-worker, your boss, your landlord, a date, your partner, your teacher, your ex- etc.

Someone experiencing sexual coercion can be under any of these forms of pressure or under a combination of them.

When we look at these behaviours as part of a bigger picture, they are not part of a healthy relationship; what is more, they can affect your physical, sexual and mental health and even your future relationships.

Sexual Consent

In Scotland, we define Sexual Consent as ‘Free Agreement’. This means that for consent to exist, the person who gives it must be free from any type of pressure.
There is NO Free Agreement if:

  • The person is incapable due to the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Violence is used to gain consent
  • The person agrees to have sex because they have been unlawfully detained
  • The person gave consent after being deceived
  • The person gives consent believing that thay6 are going to have sex with someone but who is being impersonated by someone else
  • The person is asleep or unconscious


If you feel you're experiencing sexual coercion, there are a number of organisations that are willing to listen to you and to help you.

For more information, advice and support please contact:
Sexual Health D&G
– NHS Dumfries & Galloway:
0345 702 3687
Women’s Aid:
- Dumfriesshire and Stewartry:
- Wigtownshire:

01387 263 052 (24Hr)
01776 703 104 (24Hr)
South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre: 01387 253 113
Police 101