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Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.

Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact that does not include penetration. This includes sexual touching and fondling.

Rape/Sexual Assault occurs any time you are made to do something sexual that you do not want to do.

Common misconceptions about rape and sexual assault:

Myth Fact
The primary motive for sexual assault is sexual. People who commit sexual assault don’t have any other outlet for their sexual needs. The major motive for sexual assault is power—to overpower and control another person. Rape is not about sex. It is sexualized violence, not violent sex. 3 out of 5 offenders are in consenting sexual relationships. The myth allows shifting the blame from offender to victim.
The victim provokes sexual assault. Someone’s actions or dress cannot send a message “asking” for sexual assault. In fact, studies demonstrate that 71% of sexual assaults are planned in advance, making irrelevant the survivor’s demeanor, or apparel at the time of the sexual assault.
Most sexual assault victims do not know their attacker. Over 50% of all sexual assaults involve acquaintances or friends. A close personal friend, family member, or close family friend is the offender in 14% of cases reported(a person is less likely to report sexual assault by a friend or relative).
A person can prevent a sexual assault if they really want to. Since nearly 90% of sexual assaults involve threats or use of physical harm, a person may submit to a sexual assault to prevent more severe bodily injury or death. Vulnerability during an assault also increases because most women are not brought up to respond to a threat in a physical way. Tonic Immobility can also prevent a person from screaming, or fighting back.
Sexual Offenders are always perverted degenerates. This myth is based on the assumption that only “sick” or “insane” people are offenders, and again, that obtaining sex is the primary motive for the sexual assault. Believing this myth may cause us to expect the offender to have certain recognizable characteristics. If the offender looks and acts normal, it’s hard to believe they could have committed the crime.
Most women lie about acquaintance rape because they have regrets about consensual sex. Sexual assault and other felonies have the same false report rate: 2-4%. Survivors who are aware that some people believe this myth may be afraid to report or tell anyone because they fear no one will believe them (TAASA, 2008).