Sexual assault is defined by law as sexualized contact with another person without consent, by force, coercion, threats or manipulation. Any kind of unwanted sexual contact is considered assault, is illegal, and can be physically and mentally harmful. Sexual violence includes rape, attempted rape, incest, child sexual assault, sexual harassment and indecency.
Though sexual assaults are often portrayed or believed to be perpetrated by violent strangers, the majority of this type of assault is committed by someone the victim knows.
It is important to realize that 1 in 4 college age women will have an experience that meets the legal definition of rape or attempted rape at some point during her college career. Though women are assaulted at a greater frequency, men can, and have been victims of sexual assault. Sexual assault is a crime used by one person to control, dominate and humiliate another. Sexual assault is not about lust or uncontrollable passion -- it is about power over another person and the opportunity to commit a violent crime. It is always the perpetrator, not the victim, who is at fault.
Some Questions to Consider
- Are we both of the proper age to consent?
- Do we have the capacity to consent? Keep in mind that legally, you cannot give consent if you are intoxicated.