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RCC Fact Sheets about Rape and Sexual Assault

After a Sexual Assault

What is sexual assault?
The Rape Crisis Center uses the term sexual assault to describe any unwanted sexual attention. Sexual assault can take the form of rape, child molestation, incest, or sexual harassment. These are all acts of violence and power which use sex as a weapon.

Facts:
  • Most people who are sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone they know.
  • Most sexual assaults are perpetrated by individuals who are the same race as their victims.
  • Sexual assault can happen to any woman, child, or man. Everyone is at risk, however, the vast majority of sexual assault victims are female.
  • Sexual assault is not caused by what the victim is wearing, where she happens to be, or what she happens to be doing. It is always the responsibility of the assailant.
  • Sexual assault is a crime motivated by violence, anger, and power; it is not an act of sexual desire.
  • Regardless of the circumstances, sexual assault IS NEVER the victim's fault.


What is stranger rape?
Stranger rape is a form of sexual assault in which someone forces a person they do not know to have sexual intercourse or other sexual contact without their consent.

What is date or acquaintance rape?
Date or acquaintance rape is a form of sexual assault in which someone forces a person they know to have sexual intercourse or other sexual contact without their consent. In Wisconsin, this includes non-consensual sex with a spouse.

Most people who are sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone they know, in a place they are used to being, such as in their home.

What is incest?
Incest is a form of sexual assault in which someone is sexually assaulted or exploited by a family member.

What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is a form of sexual assault consisting of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature and occurs within the workplace or school setting. It is the sexualization of an otherwise non-sexual relationship. Sexual harassment is the most common form of sexual assault. Most women have experienced sexual harassment.

What is consent?
Consent is a freely given "YES!" or obvious actions.  This means that if you're not sure if someone is interested in hooking up or engaging in sexual activity with you, you DO NOT HAVE THEIR CONSENT.  Consent should be voluntary, enthusiastic, informed and reversible.  There are three groups of people who are protected under Wisconsin Law who cannot give consent; these laws are in place because these groups of people are especially vulnerable and often targeted by perpetrators.  These three groups are:
  • People who are under the age of 18.
  • People who have severe developmental or cognitive disabilities.
  • People who are intoxicated (under the influence of alcohol or drugs).
Below is a video by sex education activist Laci Green about consent. This video is appropriate for mature teens and older.

The web site of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault contains a number of fact sheets regarding sexual assault.

View Additional Resources here