Naming the Violence

Sexual Assault is any unwanted, non consensual sexual contact. It can include touching, kissing, fondling, oral sex and rape.

Rape: Forced sexual intercourse or penetration. Force can be physical, or it can be coerced (threats of physical harm, using feelings, guilt or authority to make someone believe they have no choice).

Stranger Rape: The rapist is unknown to the victim. This was once believed to be the most common type of rape, but we now know that most rapists are known to the victim.

Marital Rape: Rape that is committed by a husband or wife against their spouse. Marital rape is most often never reported because a survivor may feel like since they are married it is not considered rape, or because they don’t think anyone will believe them.

Acquaintance Rape: Rape that is committed by someone known to the victim either by sight, or fairly well. The rapist could be a next door neighbor, a family friend, a customer at work, an ex-boyfriend, a classmate, etc. The rape can be a spontaneous act of opportunity or planned days in advance. The closer the relationship, the less likely it is the survivor will report the crime.

Date Rape: Rape that is committed by a person you are in a relationship with, or someone you go out with such as to dinner, dancing, etc. where there is an expectation of romantic interest. Alcohol and drugs are sometimes involved in date rape. Date rape can be a spontaneous act or planned hours in advance. The closer the relationship, the less likely it is the survivor will report the crime.

Alcohol & Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault: Sexual assault or rape that happens while the victim is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol is the most common drug used, and it is often used to deliver other drugs such as GHB or Rohypnol (“ruffies”). Alcohol or drugs are often taken voluntarily, but can cloud a persons judgment and ability to give consent to any sexual activity. Often survivors do not report the rape because they do not have clear memories of what happened, or think they will not be believed because they were intoxicated.

Sexual Harassment: Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, repeated sexual invitations, talking about sex or showing pornography when it is unwanted, being denied services or employment unless you agree to grant sexual favors.