Sexual assault is an assault of a sexual nature on another person. Although sexual assaults most frequently are by a man on a woman, it may be by a man on a man, woman on a man or woman on a woman. Approximately one in six American women will be a victim of a sexual assault in her lifetime. Largely because of child rape and an epidemic of prison rape approximately ten percent of all rapes are suffered by males.
While sexual assaults are associated with the crime of rape, it may cover assaults which would not be considered rape. What constitutes a sexual assault is determined by the laws of the jurisdiction where the assault takes place, which vary considerably, and are influenced by local social and cultural attitudes.
It has been said that sexual assault includes rape, forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration, forced sexual intercourse, inappropriate touching, forced kissing, child molestation, and the torture of the victim in a sexual manner.
Main article: Rape
Perpetrators of rape may include, but are not limited to, strangers, acquaintances, neighbors, superiors, legal entities (as in the case of torture), or family members. Abbey et al. state that female victims are much more likely to be assaulted by an acquaintance (such as a friend or co-worker), a dating partner, an ex-boyfriend or an intimate partner than by a complete stranger. In a study of hospital emergency room treatments for rape, Kaufman et al. state that the male victims as a group sustained more physical trauma, were more likely to have been a victim of multiple assaults from multiple assailants, and were more likely to have been held captive longer.
Studies have shown that the psychological damage is often particularly severe when sexual assault is committed by parents against children due to the incestuous nature of the assault. Incest between a child or adolescent and a related adult has been identified as the most widespread form of child sexual abuse with a huge capacity for damage to a child.
- Chapter 6: Female Sex Offenders, All about Female Offenders, by Katherine Ramsland.
- National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey. 1998.
- cf. U.S. Department of Justice. 2003 National Crime Victimization Survey. 2003.
- Assault, Black's Law Dictionary, 8th Edition. See also Ibbs v The Queen, High Court of Australia, 61 ALJR 525, 1987 WL 714908 (sexual assault defined as sexual penetration without consent); Sexual Offences Act 2003 Chapter 42 s 3 Sexual assault (United Kingdom), (sexual assault defined as sexual contact without consent), and Chase v. R. 1987 CarswellNB 25 (Supreme Court of Canada) (sexual assault defined as force without consent of a sexual nature)
- Frequently Asked Questions About Women's Health: Sexual Assault, The National Women's Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Abbey, A., BeShears, R., Clinton-Sherrod, A. M., & McAuslan, P. (2004). Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 323-332."Similarities and differences in women's sexual assault experiences based on tactics used by the perpetrator". Accessed 9 July 2008.
- Kaufman, A; P Divasto, R Jackson, D Voorhees, J Christy (1980). "Male rape victims: noninstitutionalized assault". American Journal of Psychiatry 1980 (137): 221â€“223. Retrieved on 2008-11-06.
- Courtois, Christine A. (1988). Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy. W. W. Norton & Company, 208. ISBN 0393313565.
- Wishart, G.D. (2003). "The Sexual Abuse of People with Learning Difficulties: Do We Need A Social Model Approach To Vulnerability?", Journal of Adult Protection, Volume 5 (Issue 3).
- Crimestoppers is a crime-fighting charity who you can pass on information about crime anonymusly to
- PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment
- Angela Rose
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, the United States' largest anti-sexual assault organization.
- Sexual Assault Care Centre Scarborough, An extensive resource for victims/survivors of sexual assault.
- The Awareness Center, Inc. (Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault)
- The Victim Rights Law Center (The National Pioneer of Legal Services to Victims of Sexual Assault)
- FaithTrust Institute
Support and healing organizations
- After Silence, online support group and forums and chat room for survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and their supporters.
- Pandora's Aquarium, an online support group, message board, and chat room for sexual assault survivors and their supporters.
- Support for Victims and Their Family, Support for Victims and Their Family
- Healing Through Creativity an organization that holds a creativity event each year in WV and has an online support message board and chat room
- National Sexual Assault Hotlines, provide help by phone and online. Both are free, safe and confidential and operated by RAINN.
- False Accusations of Sexual Abuse Support resources and first-hand reports.
- Ekuus Foundation - Therapy Resort with horses, for sexually abused victims Ekuus was created with intent to advance psychological recovery of those who suffer from the trauma caused by sexual abuse.
Research and information
- Sexual Assault Care Centre Scarborough - An extensive resource for victims/survivors of rape/sexual assault
- Award Winning Documentary on Sexual Assault and Healing
- Rape Crisis Information Pathfinder- research on sexual assault
- U.S. Army Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program
- Sexual Assault Statistics
- RAINN statistics on sexual assault
- NOW statistics on violence against women
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