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 Assault
Under 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.
Resources for victims of sexual assault…
- W.E.A.V.E.: Women Escaping a Violent Environment
- RAINN: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
- NSVRC: National Sexual Violence Resource Center
- National Sexual Abuse Hotline
Go to the 1800Victims homepage to find resources in your county including Victim Assistance Centers and local law enforcement agencies.
You may be eligible for compensation…
The California Victim Compensation Program may be able to help victims who were injured or threatened with physical injury as the result of sexual assault. See the following link to find out how to apply for compensation:
or contact the California Victim Compensation Program: