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Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention MonthSexual Assault

Sexual Assault is forced, manipulated, or coerced sexual activity.

It includes rape, exposure, voyeurism, and sexual harassment.

Get Help & Find Safety, call us: 1-877-294-2272

Patterns of Sexual Assault:

Marital Rape: The term used to describe sexual acts committed without a person's consent and/or against a person's will, when the perpetrator (attacker) is the woman's husband or ex-husband.

Rape: An event that occurred without the victim's consent, involved the use of force or threat of force, and involved sexual penetration of the victim's vagina, mouth or rectum

Incest: Sexual contact, inappropriate touching, or sexual penetration involving people who are closely related, for example, a father and daughter, sex between a brother and sister, sexual contact between a child and his uncle.

Gang Rape: Two or more offenders raping one or more victims in one incident

Date/acquaintance rape: Non-consensual sexual intercourse between a victim and someone they know, or an acquaintance, or a friend, or even a person who they are in a relationship with. A victim of date or acquaintance rape maybe hesitant to report it because of either a relationship with the offender or of the circumstances involved. Perhaps the offender is a friend or a date.

Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Pornography: The explicit depiction or exhibition of sexual activity in literature, films or photography that is intended to stimulate erotic, rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

Exhibitionism: The compulsive act of inappropriately exposing one's sex organs to unsuspecting strangers for the Purpose of sexual arousal and gratification.

Voyeurism: Voyeurism is a practice in which an individual derives sexual pleasure from observing other people.

Procedure for Helping a Friend who is a Survivor of Sexual Assault

1. BELIEVE THEM. The greatest fear of sexual assault survivors is that they will not be believed; or that their experience will be minimized as "not being important." Even if details are unclear, donít investigate. Allow them to tell you what happened as they feel comfortable. Do not press for details of the assault. Respect their need for privacy.

2. LET THEM BE YOUR GUIDE:  It is important to remember that sexual assault is an extreme loss of control. You should always be respectful of their choices. It is only through making their own decisions and taking control of their recovery that an assault survivor can begin to take control of their life again. Ask them to help you by telling you what they want or need.

3. LISTEN: They may not begin with a rush of words, so be patient. Let them know that listening to them is more important that anything else they may think you want to do. Let them tell the story at their own speed.

4. DONíT BLAME THEM: Avoid questions that seem to blame them for their actions, such as, "Why didnít you scream?" and "Why did you go to their room?" Allow them to talk out their feelings of self-blame if they want to, but help them understand that only a rapist causes rape.

5. COMFORT THEM: Tell them you care about them and want to help. Ask how you can help.

6. RESPECT THEIR PRIVACY: They should be the one to decide who should know about the assault and how they should be told. Do not share their story with anyone without the permission of the survivor.

7. SUGGEST CALLING A RAPE CRISIS CENTER: This does not mean that they must report the rape to the police. A rape crisis center will provide a trained worker to guide the survivor (and friends) and discuss options through the next critical hours. All calls to rape crisis hotlines are confidential.

8. ENCOURAGE THEM TO PRESERVE EVIDENCE AND TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION: Even if they appear unhurt, encourage them to seek medical attention. The rapist may have had a sexually transmitted disease or if the victim is female, she may become pregnant from the rape. Encourage them to wait before they wash their hands, face, and body, brush their teeth or change their clothing. During an official rape exam in a hospital, specimens will be taken to find traces of blood, hair, saliva, and (if male) semen of the rapist, so itís important that nothing be washed away.



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