Multiple-Perpetrator Sexual Assault

It can be difficult to come to terms with an experience like multiple-perpetrator sexual assault. You should know you’re not alone. Visit online.rainn.org to talk to someone anonymously about what happened to you.

What is multiple-perpetrator sexual assault?

Multiple-perpetrator sexual assault, sometimes called gang rape, occurs when two or more perpetrators act together to sexually assault the same victim. Some common aspects of multiple-perpetrator assault include:

 

  • Beginning as a consensual activity and introducing others to participate against the victim’s will or without consent
  • Planning the assault in advance
  • Targeting a victim that has an existing connection with one of the perpetrators, often sexual in nature
  • Using alcohol or drugs to subdue the victim, known as drug-facilitated sexual assault
  • Using the assault to introduce or reinforce membership in a group, such as a gang, sports team, or club

What are common effects for survivors?

    Survivors of multiple-perpetrator sexual assault may experience the same effects that victims of other types of sexual assault face. The nature of this particular crime can present specific challenges including:

     

    • Added level of threat or fear from the additional number of perpetrators
    • Dealing with repercussions of shared digital content, such as shared photos or videos from the assault
    • Difficulty prosecuting the crime, because of the number of perpetrators and the close bond they share
    • Increased humiliation or shame knowing that several people watched, participated, or acted as a bystander without intervening
    • Increased risk of STIs due to the presence of additional perpetrators

    To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.

    Related Content

    Receiving Medical Attention

    After sexual assault, a medical exam can check for help check for injuries, even those you may not be able to see.

    Read More

    Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault

    You may have heard the term “date rape drugs” to refer to substances that can aid a perpetrator in committing drug-facilitated sexual assault. 

    Read More

    What Consent Looks Like

    The laws vary by state and situation, but you don’t have to be a legal expert to understand how consent plays out in real life.  

    Read More

    Free. Confidential. 24/7.

    Get Help

    93¢ of every $1 goes to helping survivors and preventing sexual violence.

    Donate Now