According to the law there are several different types of assault, which may depend on how someone hurt you, or how badly you were injured. The main types of assault are:
- Common assault – when someone uses force, such as pushing or slapping, or makes threats of violence.
- Actual Bodily Harm (ABH) – when you are injured, for example bruised, scratched or bitten, as the result of an assault.
- Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) – when you are seriously injured in an assault, such as being stabbed.
- Sexual assault and rape – these are types of sexual abuse, when someone forces you to have sex (rape) or touches you in a sexual way when you don’t want them to (sexual assault). You can find more information about sexual assault and rape in the Understanding sex crimes section of this website.
- Domestic violence and relationship abuse – these are the terms used to describe an assault by your boyfriend or girlfriend, or former partner.
- Hate crime – this is what happens when someone assaults you because of your identity (such as your race, religion, culture, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability). The police take hate crime very seriously, and if the crime leads to a trial, the offender may be given a longer sentence because the assault was motivated by hate.
Even if the attack doesn’t result in physical injuries, it can still be regarded as an assault. Incidents can happen anywhere – at home, at school, in the street – and often the victim knows the person who attacks them. And whether you are physically hurt or not, being assaulted can have a big effect on you emotionally.