If you are in need of immediate assistance, call 911 or GW Emergency Services.
Sexual assault is any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent (such as incapacitation, age, family relation to the other party, or intellectual or other disability). Sexual Assault can be committed by or against individuals of any sex or gender and can occur between individuals of the same sex/gender or different sexes/genders.
Sexual Assault includes:
- sexual intercourse with another person, including oral or anal sexual intercourse, or the use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
- touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
- sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law; or
- sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Coercion and Force
Sexual assault is sometimes accomplishedby physical force, but most often this is not the case, especially between people who know each other. On college campuses, most people who experience sexual assault know the person who assaulted them. Sexual assault is most often accomplished through coercion, manipulation, incapacitation, and active disregard. Coercion means overcoming resistance or unwillingness by actual or threatened violence or undue pressure.
Sexual assault can can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other social identity. A romantic partner, a friend, a fellow student, a family member, someone in authority, or a stranger can perpetrate these acts. Our cultural stereotype of rape is a random attack by a stranger, but that is actually quite rare. Non-stranger assault is the norm.
Tools and Resources
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center is a good source for statistics about sexual assault on college campuses.