What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual activity without that person’s consent.
This can include forced sexual intercourse (rape), sexual abuse, childhood sexual abuse, incest, sexual harassment and any unwanted sexual activity, including kissing, fondling, touching, oral sex or threatening to do any of these things. Consent is a voluntary agreement between two adults to engage in a sexual activity. Someone who is under the influence of medication, drugs or alcohol is not in the position to give consent.
Both women and men can be sexually assaulted.
It is a serious crime whether committed by a stranger, friend, family member or partner.
Sexual assault is a common occurrence.
Conservative statistics document that one in two girls and one in five boys will be sexually assaulted at some time in their lives.
Most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. Many victims are assaulted in their own homes by their partners, family members, friends and acquaintances.
Sexual assault can happen between people of the same or opposite sex.
No one ever asks to be raped.
Age, appearance, social standing and marital status are not barriers to being assaulted.
How a person is dressed, where a person goes, what a person does, etc, are not reasons to be sexually assaulted.
Victims are never to blame.
- Next week’s edition: What is domestic violence?