If you are in immediate danger, or in need of medical attention please call 911, or go to an emergency room.
The 24 hour Sexual Violence hotline # is 800-489-7273
Rape and sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of their sex, gender, race, class, age, size, appearance, or sexual orientation. They are violent crimes used to exert power, humiliate, and control.
- "Sex" requires your consent.
- "Rape" and "Sexual Assault" are violent crimes that are motivated by anger, hatred, and aggression. Being forced to have unprotected sex or to engage in more sexual activity than you had wanted also constitutes rape or sexual assault. People of all genders can commit sexual assault.
- No one asks to be raped. Even if you picked someone up or were already engaged in sexual activity, you always have the right to say no.
- If you could not say no because you were drunk, high, or unconscious, it is still considered rape or sexual assault. If you were not able to say no because of a disability, it is still considered rape or sexual assault. If you had your boundaries violated in a “scene” or your “safe words” were not respected, it is still considered rape or sexual assault. If are a sex worker and someone forced you to do something you did not agree to, it is still considered rape or sexual assault.
Sexual violence can happen in the context of intimate partner violence or as part of anti-LGBTQQ hate violence.
- Often batterers will use sexual violence as a tool to maintain power and control in a relationship where domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence) exists. This can be in the form of sexual assault or rape including, attacking a survivor’s genitals, touching parts of the survivor’s body which are off limits, denying sexual activity or shaming the survivor about their sexuality. This is a very powerful tool of abuse and is usually used in conjunctions with other forms of intimate partner abuse. For more information, please see the section on domestic violence.
- Sexual assault or rape can also be part of an anti-LGBTQQ hate violence attack. Many times people who are choosing targets based on perceptions about sexual orientation or gender identity will take out their hatred by attacking our sexuality in this most direct manner. As sexual violence is about power and control, and LGBTQQ people are often sexually assaulted or raped in the name of attempting to turn someone straight or put them in their place regarding their gender.
- If you are a survivor of sexual violence remember, it is not your fault and you are not alone. You can call SafeSpace for help and support.
Adapted from NCAVP’s webpage www.ncavp.org