Rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse can have different legal definitions. In general, rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse are forms of violence in which there is sexual contact without consent — including vaginal or anal penetration, oral sex, and genital touching.

In the U.S. the legal definitions of rape and sexual assault vary. Some states use these terms interchangeably, while others define them differently. Often, people will use the term “sexual assault” to refer to any kind of non-consensual sexual contact, and use the term “rape” to mean sexual contact that includes penetration.

Anyone can be a victim — no matter their gender, sexual orientation, or age. But certain groups of people are more likely than others to experience sexual assault in their lives. Minority Women  LGBT identified people, and people with developmental disabilities are more likely to experience sexual assault over the course of their lifetimes.

Sexual violence doesn’t happen in one single way. There doesn’t need to be a weapon involved and the victim doesn’t need to have fought back, screamed, or said “no” repeatedly in order for it to count as rape or sexual assault. Most sexual assaults don’t happen by strangers in dark alleyways. Often, it’s someone the victim knows or even a romantic partner. If you or someone you know has experienced this type of violence, you’re not alone, and help is available.

Join Nikki for justice we deserve to live a life free of oppression 

 

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/relationships/sexual-consent

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