What is Sexual Assault?Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity that is not consensual. Sexual assault is not only physical; it can also be verbal, visual or any other unwanted sexual attention. Examples of sexual assault are: inappropriate touching, rape or attempted rape, molestation, voyeurism, exhibitionism, sexual harassment and other forms of unwanted sexual activity. Sexual assault may be done by an intimate partner, acquaintance, family member or a stranger. Both men and women can be victims of sexual assault.
What to do if you are victimized…Get to a safe place and call the police immediately. If you have been physically assaulted, do not change clothes, take a shower or wash off any potential evidence. Leave the scene of the assault intact. These precautions will help police collect evidence against the assaulter. You can also go directly to a hospital and inform them you have been sexually assaulted. It is important to receive medical attention immediately.Call 1-800-VICTIMS for resources in your area.Many assault victims may feel a sense of shame or embarrassment, or perceive that the assault was somehow their fault. Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Sexual assault is illegal conduct.
California Law Relating to Sexual AssaultUnder the CA Penal Code, sexual assault is sexual contact that is non-consensual. In order to have consent, a person must be a willing participant in the act. Consent cannot be obtained if the person suffers from a mental or physical disorder which makes them incapable of consenting, or if the person was incapacitated by drugs or alcohol.The following acts are NOT consent: Gaining consent by threats, duress or force; A current or previous dating or marital relationship with the assaulter; The assaulter’s use of a condom or birth control device.Penal Code Sections 261-269: RapePenal Code Section 243.4: General Sexual AssaultCalifornia Code Title 17: Rights of Witnesses and Victims of CrimeCalifornia Sexual Assault Victims DNA Bill of Rights
Resources for victims of sexual assault…
- W.E.A.V.E.: Women Escaping a Violent Environment 1-866-920-2952 http://www.weaveinc.org/
- RAINN: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network https://rainn.org/
- NSVRC: National Sexual Violence Resource Center http://www.nsvrc.org/
- National Sexual Abuse Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE 1-800-656-4673