Understanding the legal definition of sexual assault

Sexual assault is a criminal act that consists of a violation of another person's rights by forced sexual contact. If you believe that you are a victim of sexual assault, you may want to learn more about how sexual assault is defined in a legal context before taking action.

Actions that are defined as sexual assault should never be tolerated. To protect yourself and get support after an experience of sexual assault, you should consider legal action as well as medical attention for both your physical and mental health.

The definition of sexual assault

Sexual assault is defined as any type of unwanted touching or invasive action. Sexual assault can range from unwanted grinding at a party, groping of your private areas, forcing you to perform oral sex and attempted rape or actual rape through physical force.

How can sexual assault be proven?

Sometimes physical evidence can help show that a sexual act was nonconsensual. That's why it's important to seek medical care after rape. In other cases, you may need to testify about the way that you verbally or physically tried to prevent the act that occurred, either before or during the sexual contact. In other cases, a prosecutor may show that you were unable to consent to any sexual acts. For example, you may have been heavily intoxicated or under the influence of a drug and therefore unable to object to the act. Every situation is unique.

Taking action to protect yourself

Taking legal action against your abuser can take a huge amount of courage. You may want to start by simply understanding more about the legal procedure and exploring your options to hold your abuser responsible for their actions.

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