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

    Related:

    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.

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