What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is most commonly thought of as forcible rape, but that is just one type of such an assault.

Sexual assault in most states include any type of unwanted physical contact with any sexual organs. In many states, it goes beyond just physical contact to include aggresive sexually suggestive statements.

Physical contact is "unwanted" if the victim did not legally consent to such contact. Saying "No!" clearly demonstrates a lack of consent. However, someone doesn't necessarily have to say "No!" nor physically object to demonstrate this lack of consent. While it does vary from state-to-state, in many states, if the person is intoxicated, he/she is incapable of giving legal consent to such contact.

Sexual contact with an intoxicated person then becomes sexual assault, regardless of what type of intoxicating substance the victim was under the influence (e.g., alcohol, narcotics, "date-rape" drug). If you think that you may have been the victim of a sexual assault, you are urged to call the police immediately. Please visit our answer board; you may find pertinent information on laws in your State.

Finding Help

We've received hundreds of questions at SexLaws.org about Sexual Assault as well as questions about how to seek out crisis, medical, and legal help. Your local police or hospital is most often going to be your best resources. You can also contact the National Help for victims of sexual assault http://www.rainn.org/ Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) 1800-656-HOPE 24/7.

Sexual Assault The Most Cowardly Of All Crimes

Sexual assault or rape can be defined as verbal, visual, or physical abuse that forces a person to consent to sexual contact or attention. It can happen in any number of different situations, by a stranger in an isolated place, on a date, or in the home by someone you are familiar with. Some rapist use drugs to take away a persons ability to defend themselves.

Rape or sexual assault is a crime that most often involves a female victim, and a male attacker. It is a violation of the victim’s body and will also take an emotional toll on the victim. You should always support the victim of a rape or sexual assault, listen to them and do not judge them for being a victim. Regardless of the circumstances of the sexual assault or rape the victim can not be at fault, it does not matter what the person was wearing, where they were going, what they were doing or who they were with…………the victim of a rape or sexual assault is not responsible for the attack.

Rape is an act of violence and aggression, and while it involves the act of forced sexual contact it is not about sexual pleasure or passion. Rape and sexual assault have nothing to do with caring or love. It is a crime in which the attacker has the need to feel as if they are in control and more powerful than the victim.

The most common form of rape or sexual assault is acquaintance or date rape. Studies have shown that of 60 percent of all rapes and sexual assaults the victim knows the attacker. In cases where it is a family member it can be much harder to get the courage to report the attacks, and attacks against children should not be kept within the family.

Victims of sexual assault are often ashamed of what has occurred and sometimes blame themselves for what has happened. Others may become secluded and distant, while pushing friends and loved ones away. Then the worst news is it that some statistics show that only 1 out of every 3 rapes or sexual assaults are even reported to the authorities. There were over 94,000 reported rapes and sexual assaults in the United States in 2004.

Here are some tips to help reduce your chances of a sexual assault.
  • When out partying “NEVER” leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from someone you do not know.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings, avoid secluded places.
  • Do not consume excess amounts of alcohol or drugs stay sober and aware.
  • Do not be afraid of asking for help if you feel threatened.
  • Carry personal protection equipment at all times.
  • Have the number for your local law enforcement on your person.
  • Be clear about what you expect and what kind of relationship you are considering.
  • Rape or sexual assault can happen to even the strongest, most confident, and best prepared people. So if you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault here are some tips to help you!!!
  • Report the rape or sexual assault to the authorities.
  • Go directly to the nearest medical facility.
  • Do not douche or bathe before reporting to the hospital.
  • Do not change clothes before reporting to the hospital.
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases STD’s and pregnancy.
  • Ask about emergency contraceptives.
  • Have someone in your family or that you can trust contacted and instructed to bring a change of clothes to the medical facility.
  • Always remember that anything you say to emergency room personnel can be used in the court of law.
Sheri Gray is writer and webmaster for J & S Enterprises and online force in the personal self-defense products market. Serving the industry since 2004 J & S Enterprises offers Tasers, Stun Guns, Pepper Sprays, and Mace Defense Sprays. For more information on the products offered by J & S Enterprises and a link to see sex offenders in your area go to: www.safeselfdefense.com

THE FINE PRINT: Sex Laws.org is not affiliated with J & S Enterpises or www.safeselfdefense.com. We do not take a position for or against the products or services offered by this company.