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. If a minor is involved it is considered sexual assault through legal statutes.
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 a person the victim knows.
It is important to realize that one out of every four women report experience that meet the legal definitions of rape or attempted rape. Though women are assaulted on a greater frequency, men can, and have been, victims of sexual assault.
Sexual assault is a crime and used by a person to control, dominate, and humiliate another. Sexual assault is not about lust or uncontrollable passion; it is about power over another and the opportunity to commit a violent crime. It is always the offender, not the survivor, who is at fault.