Sexual Assault

Sexual Abuse Sonoma CountySexual assault and abuse is any type of sexual activity that you do not agree to, or under threat or coercion.
  Whether by an acquaintance or a stranger, sexual assault can occur forcibly and/or against a person’s will, or when a person is incapable of giving consent, including:

  • Inappropriate touching, forcible fondling (unwanted touching or kissing for purposes of sexual gratification)
  • Vaginal, anal, or oral penetration
  • Sexual intercourse that you say no to
  • Rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Child molestation

A person is legally incapable of giving consent if under 18 years of age, intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol, developmentally disabled, or mentally or physically unable to do so.

Sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Examples of this are voyeurism (when someone watches private sexual acts), exhibitionism (when someone exposes him/herself in public), incest (sexual contact between family members), and sexual harassment. It can happen in different situations: in the home by someone you know, on a date, or by a stranger in an isolated place.

Rape is a common form of sexual assault. It is committed in many situations — on a date, by a friend or an acquaintance, or when you think you are alone. Educate yourself on date rape drugs. They can be slipped into a drink when a victim is not looking. Never leave your drink unattended — no matter where you are. Attackers use date rape drugs to make a person unable to resist assault. These drugs can also cause memory loss so the victim doesn’t know what happened.

Rape and sexual assault are never the victim’s fault — no matter where or how it happens.

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