What Is Sexual Assault?

Defining Assault


Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual attention, touch, or act that is forced on you without your consent. The offender may use threats, physical force, weapons, or coercion. The assault may be physical or non-physical. Such assaults include rape, child molestation, incest, and sexual harassment. Acts such as people touching, fondling, or kissing you without your permission are sexual assaults. Sexual assault is a terrifying and often brutal crime. Assailants can be strangers, acquaintances, friends, or family members. Victims and those who love them share the devastating effects of sexual assault.

Sexual Abuse


Abuse may be sexual. Abuse may be in the form of forcing sex, withholding sex, rude stories or gestures, double standards, using sex as a weapon, punishment for not complying, making sexual threats with objects, talking dirty, laughing at you, shaming, intimidation to do unwanted acts outside of comfort level, sex as form of control, sexualizing in public, rape, possessiveness, mocking of body parts, accusations, sex for favors, or pornography.