You may wonder how rape and sexual assault are defined. Although specific states may have slightly different definitions, this site uses the following definitions, provided by the U.S. Department of Justice:
Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. This definition includes attempted rapes, male and female victims, and heterosexual and homosexual rape.
Sexual assault includes a wide range of victimizations, distinct from rape or attempted rape. These crimes include completed or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between the victim and offender.
Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling. Sexual assault also includes verbal threats.
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Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
Fisher BS, Cullen FT, Turner MG. The Sexual Victimization of College Women. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice: 2000. Publication No. NCJ 182369
Catalano, Shannan M. Bureau of Justice Statistics: National Crime Victimization Survey. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Program 2004. Publication No. NCJ 205455
For More Information:
Our What is Sexual Harassment? article.
Our Dating Violence & Abuse article.