Sexual assault is any sexual contact without consent. Acts may include unwanted sexual touching, fondling, attempted rape, harassment, exposing or flashing, or forcing a person to pose for sexual pictures. Rape is non-consensual sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, and/or oral penetration by a body part or an object, no matter how slight the penetration or contact. Rape is a form of sexual assault. Rape and sexual assault are crimes motivated by power and control. Perpetrators use rape and sexual assault as a weapon to hurt and dominate others.
If you think you may have experienced a sexual assault:
- It is not your fault.
- You are not alone.
- Consider seeking medical care for any injuries, STD/STI or HIV medication, or to preserve evidence.
- Know that you do not have to make a decision to report the incident before accessing counseling, medical, or advocacy services.
Some Facts About Sexual Assault
- Approximately 90% of college-aged individuals are raped by someone they know. Most rapes occur in the survivor's home, their workplace, or other spaces they are familiar with.
- Rape and sexual assault can happen to individuals of any race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, class, ability, citizenship and immigration status, and age.
- Individuals in the LGBTQ+, genderqueer, and/or gender nonconforming community experience disproportionately higher rates of sexual assault and violence than the general population.
- If a person is in a relationship with someone or has had sex with them before, this does not mean that they cannot be sexually assaulted or raped by that person.
- Alcohol and drugs can prevent someone from being able to consent. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs does not imply consent.
- In most cases, a survivor may be unable to fight back due to trauma, impairment, fear, and/or other factors. Whatever a person does to survive the assault is an appropriate reaction.
- Rape is a lot more than unwanted sex. Rape is a violent crime that often causes survivors to fear for their life and safety.
*Material adapted from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network).