What is sexual abuse? Would you know it if you saw it or worse experienced it? Defining sexual misconduct helps raise awareness. It allows people to recognize if they’ve been hurt and need help.
According to the United States Department of Justice, sexual assault means any nonconsensual sexual activity. This includes when the victim lacks the capacity to consent (1). This definition encompasses a range of sexual offenses including
- committing domestic violence,
- showing indecent images to another person, or
- kissing or touching them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable (2).
You are not alone.
Due to the prevalence of sexual assault, you or someone you know someone has probably been assaulted. According to the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCEDSV), nearly one in five women in the United States has experienced rape at one point (3). The list of statistics is startling– every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Only five out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison (3).
Rape is the most under-reported crime (3). That is the point of prevention month. We have to take steps forward in education about this widespread problem.