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What Are Sexual Assault and Rape?

There is no one definition for sexual assault.  Each state has their own definition and their own laws.  The following are how the Advocacy Center defines sexual assault and rape. 

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact.  It is sexual assault when a person does not, or cannot, give their consent (permission) to:

  • Kissing
  • Touching, Fondling or Groping
  • Oral Sex
  • Sexual Intercourse (anal or vaginal)
  • Penetration By An Object or Other Part Of The Body

Rape is any unwanted sex or penetration.  It is rape when a person does not, or cannot, give their consent (permission) to:

  • Sexual Intercourse (anal or vaginal)
  • Penetration By An Object or Other Part Of The Body
  • Oral Sex

Some sexual assaults and rapes include physical force (punching, slapping, hitting, kicking or using a weapon) but many do not.  Some sexual assault and rape victims are threatened with physical violence, held down or are unable to consent because of the use of alcohol/drugs. 

There are also some situations where the victim is forced to touch or penetrate another person, this is sexual assault even though the victim was not touched or penetrated. 

Did You Know? 

Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, race, how much money a person makes or religion

  • Every two and half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. 
  • One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.
  • About 10% of sexual assault victims are men.
  • 2/3 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. 
  • 1 in 4 college women are the victims of rape or attempted rape. 
  • 90% of date rapes involve drinking by victim or offender. 

For more information on sexual assault statistics, visit the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) www.rainn.org.

 



   

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