What is the difference between sexual assault and domestic violence?
MADI Apparel and other organizations invite you to observe National Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October. This is an opportunity to learn more on how to help and support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Ironically, with the recent news surrounding sexual assault allegations of powerful men, now more than ever is the time to learn, speak up, and be there for victims and survivors.
More than 1 in 3 women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime*
According to the Office on Women’s Health under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sexual assault is any type of forced or coerced sexual contact or behavior that happens without consent.
Sexual assault can include the following:
- Attempted Rape
- Sexual Coercion
- Fondling or unwanted touching above or under clothes
- Any type of sexual contact with someone who cannot consent, such as someone who is underage, has an intellectual disability, or is passed out
Sexual assault is not just a physical act, it can also be verbal or visual. This includes:
- Voyeurism, or peeping (when someone watches private sexual acts without consent)
- Exhibitionism (when someone exposes himself or herself in public)
- Sexual harassment or threats
- Forcing someone to pose for sexual pictures
Young Women between the ages of
16 and 24
Experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence and sexual assault
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse or financial abuse (using money and financial tools to exert control).
Since domestic violence can include sexual assault, the two definitions can overlap. Meanwhile, legal definitions for the two vary by state, but you can check out http://www.womenslaw.org/laws_state_type.php?statelaw_name=Crimes&state_code=GE to view your states definition and explanation.
Regardless of the crime, it is not the victims fault. Below are some great resources to learn more and where you can find help.