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RAPE + SEXUAL ASSAULT

Sexual Assault is:

An actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent.  Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to involvement in any sexual contact when the victim is unable to consent; intentional and unwelcome touching of, or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch a person’s intimate parts (defined as genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast); and sexual intercourse without consent, including acts commonly referred to as “rape.”.*

Rape is:

The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

Definitions:

Sources:

*University of Arkansas Fort Smith

**US Department of Justice

Myths vs. Facts

  • Rape is a sexual crime, where the attacker is seeking sexual gratification.

  • Rape happens in dark alleys, by strange men who jump out of bushes.

  • A person who has been drinking alcohol, using drugs, or dancing seductively is asking to be raped

  • If a victim of sexual assault does not fight back, they must have thought the assault was not that bad or they wanted it.

  • Wearing revealing clothing, behaving provocatively, or drinking a lot means the victim was “asking for it”.

  • Rape does not happen that often.

  • Rape is a crime of violence in which sex is used as the weapon. The rapist attacks the victim seeking power and control. Satisfaction is gained from dominating, humiliating, and degrading the victim. Rape is never a crime of passion.

  • Although some rapes do happen in dark, secluded areas, the majority of rapes happen in and around your home. Statistics also show that “stranger rapes” are few in number. It is much more likely that you will know your assailant. A rapist can be anybody.

  • No one ever asks to be raped. For sex to be legal, both parties must be of age and consenting. Both parties must be able to mentally, emotionally, physically, and verbally choose to engage in the sexual activity. Vulnerable behaviors do not excuse the criminal behaviors of another person. The sexual appearance and/or seductive behaviors of a person DO NOT equal consent.

  • Many survivors experience tonic immobility or a “freeze response” during an assault where they physically cannot move or speak.

  • The perpetrator selects the victim- the victim’s behavior or clothing choices do not mean that they are consenting to sexual activity

  • There is an average of 293,066 victims ages 12 or older of rape and sexual assault each year in the U.S. This means 1 sexual assault occurs every 107 seconds

Downloadable  Resources

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