Sexual Assault and Dating Violence
What Is Sexual Assault?
What is Sexual Assault?
- Sexual assault refers to sexual contact without consent which includes rape, sexual abuse, attempted rape, and unwanted sexual touching.
- Sexual assault may, but need not, include sexual penetration, which includes vaginal intercourse, oral sex, or anal penetration.
- Sexual assault may include conduct that involves any unwanted touching or fondling of the genitals or breasts of the victim.
- Date rape and acquaintance rape are considered sexual assault.
- Date rape is a crime of opportunity. It can happen to anyone.
Distinguishing the Difference Between Consensual Sex and Date Rape
Consensual sex occurs when both parties are able to provide a sober YES to requests for sex and each person is able to participate freely.
Date rape occurs when:
- Force is used, no matter what the circumstances.
- Someone is unable for any reason---including the effects of alcohol, drugs, coercion, or assault---to knowingly and willingly consent to sex.
- Subtle or overt verbal or physical coercion is used to trick someone into having sex.
- Someone says NO. Whether stated softly or loudly, verbally, or with a shake of the head, NO always means STOP!
- It is automatically assumed that someone wants to have sex because she/he is drinking heavily, dresses in a certain way, or agrees to go to another person's room.
- It is assumed that someone is willing to have sex just because that person has had sex before with the same person.