Sexual assault or abuse is a terrible thing and no one should go through it alone. Any form of sexual assault is not your fault.
Most people know of sexual assault as rape, but sexual abuse can happen in a variety of ways. Rape victims may be forced through threats or physical means and anyone can be a victim of rape: women, men, children, straight, gay, able-bodied or not. Partner rape is also under this category. This can include sexual acts committed without a person’s consent when the perpetrator is the individual’s current or ex- partner. 1 out of 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Sexual assault of children often includes incest or other acts with persons under the age of 18. Other forms of sexual assault include drug facilitated sexual assault. Here, alcohol or other drugs are used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent. Sexual harassment includes unwelcomed sexual advances.
None of these acts are acceptable. Consent is key in healthy relationships and without consent, sexual abuse has occurred. Consent can be defined loosely as the ability to say yes to the sexual activity. More specifically it is determined by three categories: both people are old enough to consent, have the capacity to consent, and have agreed to the sexual contact. If you are unsure about consent or any sexual activity, there is help available.