What is Sexual Assault?

What is Sexual Assault?

A sexual assault is never your fault and it is important that you know help is always available to you. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, at any time. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what you look like, what you wear, where you hang out and who you hang out with.

Offenders can be strangers, but most likely they are friends, family members or acquaintances that we think we can trust. Sexual assaults may involve a weapon, threats, coercion, alcohol or drugs, or nothing but the violent attack itself.

Sexual assault is any unwanted or forced sexual act and includes:

  • Rape and attempted rape
  • Unwanted touching or groping
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Unwanted showing of private parts
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Incest
  • Sexually obscene communications (in person, by phone, texting, email or social networking)

One in six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Many do not report their assault because they are threatened by their offender or they feel that it was somehow their fault. You DID NOT deserve to be sexually assaulted, but you DO deserve help and support.

(from from What to Do After a Sexual Assault by Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault)

No Means No

  • Sexual assault is defined as “any sexual contact against a person’s willl and without consent.”
  • No one is allowed to force you to have any kind of sexual contact for any reason.
  • It doesn’t matter where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, or even if you knew the person who forced the sexual contact.
  • When you don’t say “YES,” the answer is “NO.”
  • If you have been raped, DO NOT SHOWER OR WASH.
  • Dial 911 or Call the Center for Abused Persons at 301-645-3336.