Types of Sexual Violence

The term "sexual violence" is an an all-encompassing, non-legal term that refers to crimes like sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse. Many of these crimes are described below. Please note that the legal definition of crimes vary from state to state. There are often other crimes and forms of violence that arise jointly with crimes like sexual assault, and these are described as well.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault can take many different forms and be defined in different ways, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault.

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Child Sexual Abuse

When a perpetrator intentionally harms a minor physically, psychologically, sexually, or by acts of neglect, the crime is known as child abuse.

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Sexual Assault of Men and Boys

Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused may also face some additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.

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Intimate Partner Sexual Violence

A perpetrator can have any relationship to a victim, and that includes the role of an intimate partner. 

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Regardless of how the law defines incest, unwanted sexual contact from a family member can have a lasting effect on the survivor.

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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. 

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  • Sexual Harassment - You should be able to feel comfortable in your place of work or learning. If you are being sexually harassed, you can report it to the authorities at your job, school, or local law enforcement.
  • Stalking - Discovering that you are being stalked, either in person, online, or via technology, can be unnerving. Learning more about stalking behaviors can help you notice them before they escalate and help you protect yourself.
  • Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse - Many perpetrators of sexual abuse are in a position of trust or responsible for the child’s care, such as a family member, teacher, clergy member, or coach.
  • Using Technology to Hurt Others - Some people use technology, such as digital photos, videos, apps, and social media, to engage in harassing, unsolicited, or non-consensual sexual interactions. 
  • Sexual Exploitation by Helping Professionals - Sexual exploitation by a helping professional is a serious violation of your trust and, in many cases, the law.

  • 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.
  • Elder Abuse - As the number of older adults in America increases, it will become all the more important to be aware of the warning signs of elder abuse.
  • Sexual Abuse of People with Disabilities - Consent is crucial when any person engages in sexual activity, but it plays an even bigger, and more complicated role when someone has a disability.
  • Prisoner Rape - If you’re an inmate, a former inmate, or know an inmate who survived sexual assault while in prison, there are resources available to you.
  • Military Sexual Trauma - Military Sexual Trauma, or MST, is the term used by the Department of Veteran Affairs to describe the effects of sexual violence experienced by a military Service member.
  • Legal Role of Consent - The legal definitions for terms like rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse vary from state to state. Consent often plays an important role in determining whether an act is legally considered a crime.

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