Sexual assault takes many forms including attacks such as rape or attempted rape, as well as any unwanted sexual contact or threats. Sexual assault is any sexual contact or sexual attention committed by force, threats, bribes, manipulation, pressure, tricks or violence. It includes rape and attempted rape, child molestation, incest and sexual harassment. Usually a sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person's body in a sexual way, even through clothes, without that person's consent. Some types of sexual acts which fall under the category of sexual assault include forced sexual intercourse (rape), sodomy (oral or anal sexual acts), child molestation, incest, fondling and attempted rape. Sexual assault is a terrifying and often brutal crime. Assailants can be strangers, acquaintances, friends or family members. The devastating effects are shared by victims and those who love them (National Center for Victims of Crime). Assailants can be strangers, acquaintances, friends, or family members. Assailants commit sexual assault by way of violence, threats, coercion, manipulation, pressure or tricks. Whatever the circumstances, no one asks or deserves to be sexually assaulted (National Center for Victims of Crime). Sexual assault of any type is never the victim's fault.
According to the FBI, a rape occurs every six minutes in the United States. Rape is a crime of violence, anger, and power. It is not motivated by sexual desire. Rapists use sexual violence as a weapon to control, humiliate, and hurt their victims. Anyone can become a victim, because victims are not selected for their attractiveness, appearance, or behavior.
Sexual Abuse, Sexual Misconduct, Sodomy, Lascivious Acts, Indecent Contact, and Indecent Exposure are all examples of possible sexual assault charges. Basically, almost any sexual behavior a person has not consented to that causes that person to feel uncomfortable, frightened or intimidated is included in the sexual assault category.
The law generally assumes that a person does not consent to sexual conduct if he or she is forced, threatened or is unconscious, drugged, a minor, developmentally disabled, chronically mentally ill, or believe they are undergoing a medical procedure. Some examples of sexual assault include:
- Someone putting their finger, tongue, mouth, penis or an object in or on your vagina, penis or anus when you don't want them to;
- Someone touching, fondling, kissing or making any unwanted contact with your body;
- Someone forcing you to perform oral sex or forcing you to receive oral sex;
- Someone forcing you to masturbate, forcing you to masturbate them, or fondling and touching you;
- Someone forcing you to look at sexually explicit material or forcing you to pose for sexually explicit pictures; and
- A doctor, nurse, or other health care professional giving you an unnecessary internal examination or touching your sexual organs in an unprofessional, unwarranted and inappropriate manner.