It is ironic that our greater movement refers to sexual assault by that name because it is not about sex. There is nothing sexual about it for the victim and, often, it is not sexual for the perpetrator. Sexual assault is about power and control. It is the subjugation of someone with less power or someone different. It is humiliation and violence. It is a violent assault acted out in a sexual way. Sexual assault disproportionately affects women, children and youth, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks, Native Americans, African Americans, people with disabilities, immigrants, and many more historically marginalized communities.
SafePlace uses the term sexual assault as an umbrella term for many types of rape, date or acquaintance rape, stranger rape, incest, molestation, child sexual abuse, statutory rape, sexual (or street) harassment, sexual coercion, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and survival sex.
Sexual abuse crosses racial, religious, cultural, sexual and gender lines. It impacts children, youth, adults and the elderly throughout our country. Statistics show that three out of four survivors are assaulted by someone they know, an acquaintance, family member, friend, dating partner or spouse. Ninety percent of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by someone the child knows.