With the #Metoo and Times Up movements in full swing, it’s time to educate ourselves. We as a society need to make some big changes in how we regard and treat one another.
Especially when it comes to rape, molestation, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. But while rape and sexual assault may seem like comparing apples to apples, there are some big differences in the eyes of the law.
If you’re facing charges, you need to fully understand exactly what possible outcomes you may face. Even if you’re not facing charges, educate yourself so you can prevent problems in the future.
To avoid becoming the next Harvey Weinstein, here are the differences between sexual assault vs rape.
Sexual Assault Vs Rape
There is a difference between sexual assault and rape. However, because the two definitions often overlap, it gets confusing. Especially since recent news articles have been using sexual assault and rape interchangeably.
Let’s see how the United States Department of Justice defines the two.
Sexual Assault Definition
According to the US Department of Justice, sexual assault is defined as, “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.”
However, each state also has their own additional specific guidelines as to what defines sexual assault. It’s important to know these guidelines, especially if you’ve been falsely accused.
Definition Of Rape
The newest definition of rape from the US Dept of Justice now includes all genders and gender identities.
It states that rape is, “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
According to National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in 71 men and one in five women will be raped within their lifetime. 81% of women report experiencing significant short and long-term negative impacts like PTSD after being raped. 35% of men report the same experience.
Only 28% of rapes are committed by a stranger. Most victims know their rapist. 45% of rapes are committed by an acquaintance while 25% of all rapes are carried out by a current or former lover.
Sexual Harassment Vs Sexual Assault
Sexual assault always includes a sexual element to it. Sexual harassment doesn’t always have to include touching or even a sexual element to it. Let’s learn what sexual harassment includes.
There are three types of sexual harassment. The first is sexual coercion. Put simply, it means if you threaten to fire someone if they don’t sleep with you, it’s considered quid pro quo harassment. It’s the least common form of the three types of sexual harassment.
Most Common Forms Of Sexual Harassment
A more common type is unwanted sexual attention. It includes any type of unwanted touching, stroking, kissing, hugging, relentless pressure on dates or sexual behavior. They must be unwanted and unwelcome to the person receiving this type of behavior.
When it creates an abusive working environment, it’s considered against the law. And unwanted sexual attention also includes sexual assault and rape. Meaning, if you forcibly grope and kiss your assistant, you’re committing to a civil offense and a crime.
The third type of sexual harassment is the most common. It’s when you discriminate and disparage others based on their gender, even if no sexual interest is implied.
In other words, it’s against the law to refer to women as, “bitches” or men as, “pussies”. Nor can you make degrading comments about bodies or other sexual activities at work.
The Difference Between Molestation And Rape
There is a difference between rape and molestation. With rape, while it’s more common that the victim knows their perpetrator, it’s also possible to be raped by a stranger.
With rape, the perpetrator might ignore verbal requests to stop and may even overpower the victim so they can’t move. It’s also considered rape if someone penetrates a victim who is incapable of giving their consent.
Lack of consent applies in rape cases when the victim is drunk, unconscious, asleep, physically or mentally incapacitated, and when threatened with physical force or a weapon.
And it doesn’t matter if the perpetrator claims he or she was drunk or even married to the victim. If you don’t have full consent, it’s considered rape.
Molestation Vs. Rape
Molestation is the term that’s used when someone commits a crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18. That includes touching private parts, exposing genitalia, rape, engaging in sexual acts with either the molester or with other children, and taking pornographic photos of the victims.
The term of molestation is also applied in cases of incest by a relative with a family member who is a minor.
Also, it’s considered molestation vs rape when any unwanted sexual acts occur between adults but there’s been no penetration of any sort.
Sexual abuse is a term used when describing inappropriate behavior towards children rather than adults.
It can include anything from forcing a victim to touch the perpetrator to touching a victim in a sexual way or making a victim look at sexual body parts or watching sexual activities.
Every state recognizes that children are not capable of giving informed consent to any sex act. However, the laws of consent vary between 16 and 18 years of age depending on which state you live in.
Whether it’s sexual assault vs rape can make a big difference in your court case. Find a good attorney and do everything they tell you to do.
Remember, no always means no.
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