Sexual coercion or harassment

If anyone coerces you to do something sexual it is sexual abuse. This could be intercourse, penetration or inappropriate touching. If anyone harasses you sexually with words or touching that is also sexual abuse. It does not matter if the person doing this is your spouse or partner. The majority of people who have been sexually abused know their abuser.

Sexual abuse can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. People who experience sexual abuse are likely to feel ashamed, blame themselves, feel angry, experience fear, isolation and a negative self-image. Sometimes these consequences develop immediately but sometimes they surface later.

If you are sexually abused it is best to go as soon as possible to the hospital emergency room to get help for free. There you get an injury report which can be used if you decide to press charges.

Examples of sexual abuse are:

  • Kissing and touching against your will or without your permission.
  • Sexual harassment, like sexual expressions and words against your will or without your permission.
  • Having sex with you when you are unable to say no. For example, if you are intoxicated, asleep or have experienced spiking.
  • Mocking or threatening you if you don't want to engage in something sexual, like watching porn or inviting others to take part.
  • To threaten you with showing others nude or sexual pictures of you.
  • To pressure you into sending them nude pictures of you.
  • Sending nude pictures to you without your consent.
  • Rape or attempted rape.
  • Sexual exploitation.

Get help

It is always best to talk to someone about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. If you want assistance because of a recent event the best place to go is the emergency care for sexual assault or your local healthcare center. You can contact Stígamót, which specialize in helping people who have been sexually abused. It doesn‘t matter how long it has been since the abuse occurred.

The nurses at Heilsuvera can give you good advice on your health through web chat or phone number 1700. Everyone, both adults and children, can also talk to someone at 1717 (free Red Cross helpline) and the option to talk to an emergency operator at 112 through call or chat.

Rape and sexual abuse in a marriage, cohabitation or in an intimate relationship is punishable by law. Your spouse is not entitled to sexual intercourse whenever and whatever the situation, it depends on your consent, as with any other individual.

A guide to the Icelandic justice system for victims of sexual offences

If you have suffered from sexual abuse you might want to sue the perpetrator and hold them accountable. This guide aims to explain to you how the justice system process is, from you report it to the police until the case goes before a judge, and what to expect.

Digital sexual abuse

When someone takes or shares a sexual photo of you without permission, that is digital sexual abuse. It is also illegal to threaten to circulate a nude photo or to send an unsolicited nude photo.


Giving consent of one’s own free will is necessary in sex and sexual activities. Anything else is sexual abuse.

Have you possibly abused someone sexually?

Do you recognize abuse?

See more stories


During the first months of the relationship Lára found it admirable and sexy how easy it was to talk to Þrándur about sex. But over time his need for talking about and having sex only seemed to increase and she started finding it uncomfortable. Especially when he told her about a rape fantasy that he has.

One night Lára wakes up to Þrándur having sex with her. She does not know what to do so she does nothing. Afterwards, Þrándur thanks her, turns on his other side and falls asleep.

Is this abuse?

Available support

Emergency care for sexual assault victims

The Emergency care for sexual assault assists anyone who has been raped, experienced attempted rape or any other sexual abuse.

Bygging Sjúkrahússins á Akureyri

Emergency care in Akureyri for sexual assault victims

The Emergency Care for Sexual Assault in Akureyri assists anyone who has been raped, experienced attempted rape or any other sexual abuse.


Stígamót helps people of all genders who have been sexually abused.

Loved ones of sexual abuse victims

It can be hard to know how to help a loved one who has experienced sexual violence or abuse. You can be an important support, even if it seems overwhelming at first.

Manneskja stendur að baki annarri manneskju og heldur utan um hana. Hún brosir en manneskjan sem hún heldur utan um er leið á svip. Þær eru báðar með lokuð augun.

Digital abuse

Digital abuse is when someone uses technology or technological devices to monitor, harass, threaten, or humiliate you.

Manneskja horfir á símann sinn sem sýnir ólæsileg skilaboð. Hún snýr baki í okkur svo við sjáum á símann í höndunum á henni. Mikið liðað hár sveiflast í vindinum.