Sexual Violence/Assault/Rape

Sexual Violence is an “all-encompassing, non-legal term that refers to crimes like sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse.”1 According to Planned Parenthood Federation of America: “Every state defines crimes like ‘rape,’ ‘sexual assault,’ and ‘sexual abuse’ differently.”2

The sourced articles below should provide you more information on the similarities and differences among sexual violence, sexual assault and rape.

  1. What Are Sexual Assault, Abuse, And Rape?

    “Every state defines crimes like ‘rape,’ ‘sexual assault,’ and ‘sexual abuse’ differently. Rape usually means forced vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by a body part or object.”

    Planned Parenthood Federation of America, plannedparenthood.org, accessed on 10/5/2018

  2. What Is Sexual Assault?

    “Here are some common myths about sexual assault (and their truths):
    Myth: it’s OK to force someone to have sex if they are drunk, wear provocative clothing, or agree to go out on a date with the person.
    Truth: it’s never OK to force someone to have sex. No reason justifies sexual assault — you must get consent every time.
    Myth: males always commit the sexual assaults.
    Truth: people of any gender can commit sexual assault or be sexually assaulted.
    Myth: sexual assaults are usually committed by a stranger.
    Truth: you’re more likely to be assaulted by someone you know than by a stranger. (This is called acquaintance sexual assault.)”

    Kids Help Phone, kidshelpphone.ca, accessed on 10/5/2018

  3. Sexual Assault And The LGBTQ Community

    “Sexual violence affects every demographic and every community – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience sexual violence at similar or higher rates than heterosexuals. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects (NCAVP) estimates that nearly one in ten LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) has experienced sexual assault from those partners. Studies suggest that around half of transgender people and bisexual women will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetimes.”

    The Human Rights Campaign, hrc.org, accessed on 10/5/2018

  4. Rape & Sexual Assault: What Is The Difference?

    “Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object. Sexual Assault is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. (Please note: this term is sometimes used interchangeably with rape.)”

    Centre County Women’s Resource Center, ccwrc.org, accessed on 10/5/2018

  5. Sexual Abuse Or Violence

    “Sexual violence refers to a specific set of crimes that includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. The perpetrator of these crimes may be a stranger, acquaintance, friend, family member, or intimate partner. Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers agree that all forms of sexual violence harm the individual, the family unit, and society, and that much work remains to be done to enhance the criminal justice response to these crimes. The following list includes resources that are available for victims of sexual violence and victim service providers regarding victims’ rights, child sexual abuse, sexual violence against special populations, and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs.”

    Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, ovc.ncjrs.gov, accessed on 10/5/2018

  6. Sexual Assault And Mental Health

    “What is sexual assault?
    Sexual assault refers to sexual behavior that occurs without the clear consent of the victim. According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), this includes:
    – Attempted rape;
    – Fondling or unwanted sexual touching;
    – Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body; and
    – Penetration of the victim’s body (rape) …”

    Mental Health America, mentalhealthamerica.net, accessed on 10/5/2018

  7. Sexual Consent

    “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.”

    Planned Parenthood Federation, plannedparenthood.org, accessed on 10/5/2018

  8. Sexual Assault And Harassment Linked To Long-Term Health Problems For Women, Study Says

    “High blood pressure. Anxiety. Depression. Insomnia. These are just a few of the possible long-term health consequences facing mid-life women who had experienced sexual assault and harassment, according to a study published Wednesday [10/3/2018] in JAMA Internal Medicine. … Women in the study who reported prior sexual assault were three times more likely to experience depression and twice as likely to have elevated anxiety than women without a history of sexual trauma, said senior study author Rebecca Thurston, professor of psychiatry at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.”

    Sandee LaMotte, cnn.com, 10/3/2018

  9. What Is Sexual Assault?

    “The term ‘sexual assault’ means any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.”

    U.S. Department of Justice, justice.gov, 8/27/2018

  10. What’s the difference between sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment and rape?

    “We have tried to clarify terms that are now becoming household words. Of course, life is complicated. Abusive, assaulting or harassing behavior cannot always be neatly divided into one category or another – sometimes it belongs in more than one. Nevertheless, it is important to use terms in accurate ways to promote the public’s understanding.”

    Sarah L. Cook, Professor of Psychology & Associate Dean, Georgia State University; Lilia M. Cortina, Professor of Psychology, Women’s Studies, and Management & Organizations, University of Michigan; and Mary P. Koss, Regents’ Professor of Public Health, University of Arizona, theconversation.com, 2/7/2018

  11. Violence Against Women

    “Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime.”

    World Health Organizatio, who.int, 11/29/2017

  12. What Is Sexual Assault (And What Isn’t), According To The Law

    “What does ‘sexual assault’ actually mean? It’s actually harder to define than you’d think. According to the United States Department of Justice, sexual assault is ‘any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.’ Sexual assault is basically an umbrella term that includes sexual activities such as rape, fondling, and attempted rape. However, the legal definition varies depending on which state you’re in, and can even be different depending on where you were when the assault happened, Emily Austin, director of advocacy services for California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, tells SELF.”

    Korin Miller, self.com, 11/3/2017

  13. Sexual Victimization By Women Is More Common Than Previously Known

    “For example, the common one-dimensional portrayal of women as harmless victims reinforces outdated gender stereotypes. This keeps us from seeing women as complex human beings, able to wield power, even in misguided or violent ways. And, the assumption that men are always perpetrators and never victims reinforces unhealthy ideas about men and their supposed invincibility. These hyper-masculine ideals can reinforce aggressive male attitudes and, at the same time, callously stereotype male victims of sexual abuse as ‘failed men.'”

    Lara Stemple, and Ilan H. Meyer, scientificamerican.com, 10/10/2017

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Footnotes

1. rainn.org, accessed on 9/27/2018

2. plannedparenthood.org, accessed on 10/10/2018