1 in 3 women will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime. In addition, young women between the ages of 13-24 years of age are at highest risk of being sexually assaulted. Acquaintance, date, or childhood sexual abuse composes 80-90% of sexual assault cases.
Sexual assault is defined as being forced into sexual activity that is not your choice. Force does not have to be used to get compliance from a victim, many offenders will use intimidation, verbal or non-verbal threats, or the use or threat of use of a weapon or injury to the person. Often, neither person defines the incident as sexual assault. The offender may believe that, even though he/she used force, sex was desired by the victim. The offender may believe that they were justified in using force because they believe that the victim was being a tease or a flirt. The victim may believe that sexual assault involved only stranger assaults. None of these beliefs ever make sex without a person’s consent okay.
As children, we are warned not to talk to strangers. Yet the fact is you are more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone you know like a friend, date, ex-boyfriend, classmate, neighbor, relative, or employer. Acquaintance rape occurs when someone you know uses physical strength, emotional bargaining, intimidation, blackmail, or mind games to force you to have sexual intercourse. If you do not consent to sex and someone has intercourse with you anyway, it is a crime.
The attachments below talk about healing and recovering if you have been a victim of a sexual assault.