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  • What is sexual assault?

    Sexual assault can take many different forms, but one thing remains the same, it is never the victim's fault.

    Sexual Assault is a crime of power and control. The term "sexual assault" refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent. Some forms of sexual assault include:

    • Penetration of the victim's body, also known as rape
    • Attempted rape
    • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex
    • Fondling or unwanted sexual touching

    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. Force doesn't always refer to physical pressure. 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 tactics.

    The majority of perpetrators are someone known to the victim. Approximately 4 out of 5 sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, such as in the case of intimate partner sexual violence or acquaintance rape.

  • What is date rape?

    The term "date rape" is sometimes used to refer to acquaintance rape. Perpetrators of acquaintance rape might be a date, but they could also be a classmate, a neighbor, a friend's significant other, or any number of different roles. It's important to remember that dating, instances of past intimacy, or other acts like kissing DO NOT give someone consent for increased or continued sexual contact.

  • What if I am a victim of sexual assault?

    Unwanted sexual activity can take an immeasurable toll on the victim's physical and mental health. The emotional and physical scars of assault can deeply impact a student's ability to cope with academic, social, and personal responsibilities. While asking for help may feel unbearable, you must take action to ensure your safety. UNC's ASAP (Assault Survivors Advocacy Program) can provide immediate and follow up advocacy, support, and crisis intervention.

For more information on sexual assault and steps you can take to prevent sexual assault, visit the UNC Assault Survivors Advocacy Program  website at www.unco.edu/ASAP.