Sexual assault is any kind of sexual act that you did not consent to. This can include everything from unwanted kissing, to groping, to forced oral, vaginal or anal penetration. It may include physical violence or not. Sometimes manipulation or threats are used to convince a person to have sex against their will. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, or ability. Sexual assault is a crime under Canadian law. People respond differently to a sexual assault. Emotions that you might experience in response to a sexual assault include feeling angry, afraid, sad or numb.
As an advice columnist for Psych Central , I receive too many letters like these names have been changed :. Anna is a woman in her 40s. She has been in a conflicted marriage for years. Her husband insists on morning sex, even though he knows it will make her late for work. She gives in to get it over with. Tara, newly married, is upset because her husband has been having sex with her while she is asleep. He says she agrees in her sleep. She feels violated. Caren is in her 30s.
Forced Sex is Rape
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The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:. Rape is a form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape. The term rape is often used as a legal definition to specifically include sexual penetration without consent. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics. The majority of perpetrators are someone known to the victim. Approximately eight out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, such as in the case of intimate partner sexual violence or acquaintance rape. In other instances the victim may not know the perpetrator at all.