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What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is any sex act performed against your will or where your consent is gained by threats, acts of violence, or manipulation.

It is a crime of power and control, NOT a desire for sex.

It happens to men, women, and children of all ages, races, cultures, social status, economic backgrounds, and sexual orientations.

The perpetrator of sexual violence is usually someone known to the victim, such as a friend, current or former intimate partner, coworker, neighbor, or family member. Only 19% of sexual assaults are committed by a stranger.

A person does not have to get beaten up to be sexually assaulted.

Sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault, no matter what they wore, where they went or what they did. The assailant made a choice to violate someone’s rights and not listen to “NO.”

Any situation, even if you have been drinking or taking drugs, in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. It includes sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, child molestation, voyeurism, exhibitionism, incest, and sexual harassment.

Sexual assault is a personal crime that may leave a victim feeling helpless, alone, afraid, confused, embarrassed, and sometimes even non-emotional or numb. With understanding and support, a victim can become a survivor.

Healing is possible! Call Passages today to begin the healing process. An advocate can help you navigate the medical and criminal justice system if that is what you want. Passages can also help you with safety planning, counseling, and support to help you on your journey.

Always available 24/7, free, and confidential at 800-236-4325.

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