Understanding Sex Crimes
What is sexual assault Sexual assault is defined as any sexual activity forced upon one person by another. Many victims fail to report sexual assault because they are not sure an "assault" has actually taken place, or they feel they are to blame. "NO" means "NO." If a person won't take "NO" for an answer then sexual assault has occurred.
Sexual harassment differs from sexual assault in that no one is physically abused. Depending on the circumstances, examples of harassment include: repeated and unwanted romantic advances, discussions of a sexual nature, abusive language aimed at a particular sex, the telling of lewd jokes, unwanted touching. You do not need to put up with anything that makes you uncomfortable.
The overwhelming majority of rapes are perpetrated by someone the victim knows. Sexual abuse is never the victim's fault. But you can take steps to avoid being victimized. Clearly communicate what you want and don't want. Set your limits before you go on a date. Be aware of signals you may be sending.
What You Can Do to Prevent Sex Crimes
If you have questions, if you think you may be the victim of sexual assault or sexual harassment but are unsure, talk to a counselor who deals with such cases. Your local hospital has trained professionals on staff who can help you understand what has happened.
Defuse a bad situation