About Sexual Assault


What is Sexual Assault

Sexual violence is any sexual act that is perpetrated against someone's will, or against someone who is unable to consent or refuse.

A person who is drunk, drugged, unconscious, too young or mentally disabled is not legally able to agree to sexual contact.

There are age limits on when a young person can legally give consent to sexual activity (check your state law).

The age of consent in Florida is 18.

Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. For sexual activity to be okay, it must be consensual, which means that both people want it to happen.

Sexual violence encompasses a range of offenses, including a completed or attempted non-consensual sex act (defined below), abusive sexual contact (defined below), and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment). All types of sexual violence involve victims who do not consent, or who are unable to consent or refuse to allow the act.

A sex act is defined as contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus involving penetration; however slight, contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus; or penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person by a hand, finger, or other object.

Abusive sexual contact is defined as intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person without his or her consent, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse.
Non-contact sexual abuse is defined as sexual abuse that does not include physical contact of a sexual nature between the perpetrator and the victim. It includes acts such as voyeurism; intentional exposure of an individual to exhibitionism; unwanted exposure to pornography; verbal or behavioral sexual harassment; threats of sexual violence to accomplish some other end; or taking nude photographs of a sexual nature of another person without his or her consent or knowledge, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse.

It doesn’t always take physical force to sexually assault a victim. Threats and intimidation such as the use or possession of guns or other non-bodily weapons, physical violence, threats of physical violence, real or perceived coercion, intimidation or pressure, or misuse of authority, can make a victim feel afraid or unable to refuse the sexual activity.


Sexual Violence Statistics

 In the United States alone, someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes.
Nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives.
Approximately 1 in 20 women and men (5.6% and 5.3%, respectively) experienced sexual violence other than rape, such as being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, or non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, in the 12 months prior to the survey.
Approximately 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
38% of sexual assailants are a friend or acquaintance of the victim.
44% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18, and 80% are under the age of 30. 


Victims of sexual assault are:

 Three times more likely to suffer from depression;
Six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder;
13 times more likely to abuse alcohol;
26 times more likely to abuse drugs;
Four times more likely to contemplate suicide.

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