What is Sexual Assault?

Definitions of Sexual Assault

  • Sexual Assault : Any non-consensual sexual act which is forced by one or more persons upon another.
  • Rape: forced or coerced vaginal, anal, or oral penetration.  The weapon of intrusion used by the perpetrator may be a penis, tongue, finger, broom handle, soda bottle, or other objects.
  • Stranger Rape: Forced sexual activities by a person or persons unknown to the victim.
  • Acquaintance Rape: Forced or coerced sexual activities by a person or persons who know the victim.  In this type of assault, the trust of the relationship is often used to take advantage of another.
  • Date Rape: Date rape is one of the most confusing kinds of acquaintance rape because some teen and adult males believe that spending money on a woman means she owes them sex at the end of the evening.
  • Marital Rape: Forced or coerced sexual activities within a marriage.
  • Gang Rape: Forced or coerced sexual activities by two or more persons, known or unknown to the victim.
  • Sodomy: Forced anal and or oral penetration.
  • Incest: The legal definition is often defined as sexual contact, intrusion or penetration by an ancestor or descendant, father, mother, brother, or sister of whole or half blood, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandmother or grandfather.  Most service providers use a more global definition that includes sexual contact, intrusion or penetration perpetrated by anyone who holds a position of trust in the child’s life.
  • Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when any one of these three criteria is met:
  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individuals employment;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individuals work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
EEOC Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex,’ 29 C.F.R. 1604.11 (a)

Two Types of Sexual Harassment:

Quid Pro Quo – Submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual.  A request for sexual favors as a condition for receiving tangible job benefits is the typical case.

Hostile Environment – Unwelcome sexual conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s job performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.