What is Sexual Assault
Misconceptions about Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is forced, manipulated, or coerced sexual activity. It is a crime in which the assailant uses sex to inflict humiliation on the victim, to exert power and control over the victim, or to use the victim to attain sexual gratification without regard for the victim’s consent.
- Sexual assault can include child sexual abuse, rape, attempted rape, incest, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, fondling and sexual harassment.
- While sexual assault can take many different forms, the loss of power and control that a victim experiences is a common thread.
- The victim of sexual assault can be any age, race, gender, or social background, as can the perpetrator.
- Rapists can be anyone. Most are married or have ongoing relationships.
- In more than half of all reported rapes, the victim and rapist know each other.
- Child victims know their rapist in more than 80 percent of all cases.
- Some rapists use drugs to disable their intended victim. For more information, see our section on Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault.
Rape (Referred to as Sexual Assault under the law): Any sexual intercourse with a person without his or her consent.
Acquaintance Sexual Assault: An assault in which the victim and perpetrator are known to each other.
Intimate Partner Sexual Assault: Sexual assault within an intimate relationship. Click here for more information.
Rape is an isolated, infrequent event that only happens to certain kinds of people such as attractive young women and/or women who are promiscuous.
A rape is provoked by that person's behavior: being drunk, wearing tight clothing, staying out late...