What Constitutes Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault can be defined as the act of coercing or physically forcing an individual into taking part in sexual activities against their will. It is an issue of real importance as such acts cannot be tolerated in any way whatsoever. Unfortunately, this crime is more common than it should be, and as such there is a need for society to address the issue using the most direct approach conceivable. The first step in approaching this matter involves the clarification of what constitutes sexual assault. There are a number of scenarios that can be seen as a form of sexual assault, and this act is not only determined by physical contact contrary to popular belief.

Knowing what can be classified as sexual assault can also help an individual in determining whether they have fallen victim to this act. Though it may be hard to believe for some, there are cases where an individual is not aware that they have been subjected to sexual assault. This is usually as a result of the victim not being aware of what constitutes sexual assault. In situations where physical aggression is not involved, individuals tend to think that they are simply being bullied or “disturbed” by the perpetrator, and are not aware that they have the right to report the matter as a form of sexual assault.

Sexual assault can be classified into various categories/levels depending on the kind of assault that a victim is subjected to. It should be noted that despite this unofficial classification in severity, no form of sexual assault should be tolerated by the victim, or those who may be around to witness such an act. Some of the acts that can be classified as sexual assault include:

Physical Aggression

A physical assault on a person is the easiest form of sexual assault that can be determined. Any attempt to forcefully perform a sexual act on an individual is classified as sexual assault. This includes outright rape and/or inappropriate touching of the victim without their consent. Touching in this case can include any form of contact that can be conceived as containing a form of sexual intent. The part of the body that is touched does not play a role in determining whether one has been sexually assaulted or not. As long as a form of sexual innuendo is applied in this act, then it is constituted as a kind of sexual assault.

Unwanted Advances

These advances do not only constitute physical contact but can include verbal content and/or inappropriate signs towards the victim. Talking to an individual in a manner that can be seen to contain sexual implications (such as proffering unwanted suggestions) is also a form of assault. This is especially true when such verbal content continues after they have been clearly rejected by the victim. Sexual gesturing and sending inappropriate material to an individual can also be considered as a form of sexual assault if unwanted by the receiver of said acts.
It is essential for everyone to come together in order to fight against the scourge that is sexual assault in order to effectively eliminate this problem from the society.

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