If you are a victim of sexual violence, you need to know that the assault was not your fault. Although you may not feel it at this time, you are not alone. Help and support are available for you.
Sexual assault involves sexual intercourse or sexual intrusion without consent. Some types of sexual acts which fall under the category of sexual assault include forced sexual intercourse (rape), sodomy (oral or anal sexual acts), incest, and attempted rape. Sexual assault is the most underreported crime in the United States.
Sexual assault in any form is often a devastating crime. Sex without consent is rape. Rape can happen to anyone at any age, at any place, at any time. Offenders can be strangers, acquaintances, friends, or family members. Offenders commit sexual assault through violence, threats, coercion, manipulation, and pressure.
Rape is a crime of violence and power. It is caused by an urge to control another human being in the most personal way. It is not caused by uncontrollable sexual desire. Most rapes are planned in advance. Rapists surprise victims by catching them off guard, by manipulating or drugging them, by taking advantage of their daily activities or by lying. What a person is wearing or doing does not cause rape. Few convicted rapists even remember how the victim was dressed or what the victim looked like.
Learn more about Sexual Assault on the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services website.