Sexual assault (also known as sexual violence and sexual abuse) is any form of sexual contact or behavior that takes place without the express consent of the victim. It impacts hundreds of thousands of people in the United States each year and is sometimes present in cases of domestic violence. It includes:
– Fondling, groping or any other form of touching in a sexual manner.
– Forcing the victim to perform sexual acts such as oral sex, masturbation or penetration of the perpetrator’s body.
– Attempted rape
– Rape, which is defined as forced penetration of the victim’s body.
Rape is a form of sexual assault. However, sexual assault is not always rape. The FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim”. The legal definitions will vary by state.
Statistics show that:
– 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.24
– About 3% of American men – 1 in 33 – have experienced an attempted or completed rape in his lifetime. 24
– One in 9 girls and one in 53 boys under the age of 18 are sexually abused/assaulted by an adult. 25
– From 2009-2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse. 26
– More than half of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner. 27
Sexual assault doesn’t have to be overt, frequent, violent, leave visible injury or require medical attention. Learn about consent, the law (from RAINN), types of sexual assault/abuse and its effects.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, domestic abuse or relationship violence, contact a coalition in your state or any of these organizations that may apply to your situation:
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673)
The National Domestic Violence Helpline 800-799-SAFE (7233)
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 866-331-9474
ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453)