Sexual Assault

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault – any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities such as:

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Vaginal, Anal, or Oral Penetration
  • Sexual Intercourse
  • Rape
  • Attempted Rape
  • Child Molestation

I am a victim of sexual assault. What should I do?

Steps you should take if YOU have been sexually assaulted include:

  • Don’t take a shower or clean up after the assault
  • Collect any evidence that was left behind by the assailant
  • Contact the local authorities
  • Contact someone you can trust to be by your side
  • Go to the hospital to have a rape exam completed
  • Write on paper as much of the sexual assault that you can remember
  • Remember it is NOT your fault and you did nothing to deserve or provoke it

How should I help a friend who has been sexually assaulted?

Remember that your support is needed the most. It was not his/her fault and whatever happened, this person did nothing to deserve or provoke it. Listen without judging and respect his/her decision and help them become stronger and safer.

If your friend is a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence, he or she may be experiencing:

  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Disbelief
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Helplessness
  • Mood Swings
  • Embarrassment
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Disturbance in eating and sleeping habits

Common myths about rape and sexual assault

  • The rapist is usually a total stranger. In most rapes, the rapist and the assaulted victim know each other on a first name basis. Victims have been raped by their teachers, neighbors, fathers, uncles, and other relatives and acquaintances.
  • All rapes are committed by a few crazy people. Rapist are “normal” people in all social groups and classes, ranging from hippies to corporation presidents. All rapists are responsible for their action.
  • The rapist commits sexual assault because their sexual need and desire suddenly overwhelms them. Rape is a crime of violence and power used by one person to dominate and humiliate another. It is not sexually motivated. More than half of all rapes are planned in advance.
  • Most women aren’t really raped. Sexual assault continues to represent the most rapidly growing violent crime in America. 1.3 women (age 18 and over) in the United States are forcibly raped each minute. That translates to 78 each hour, 1,871 every day, and 683,000 per year.
  • It isn’t a “real” rape unless the victim has injuries. 70% of rape victims report no physical injury; 4% sustain serious injuries, and 24% have minor physical injuries. However, 49% of rape victims described being fearful of serious injury or death during the rape.
  • Victims do something to provoke being raped. “She was drunk, and did you see what she was wearing? She deserved it!” Rape is an act of hostility and power with sex as a weapon. It is NOT motivated by sexual urges. Because of gender stereotypes and rape myths in our society, it is common to blame the victim for dressing suggestively, having too much to drink, walking alone, et. The reality is nothing a woman does or wears can “make” a person act in a particular way. Bad judgment is not a crime but rape is.