What is Sexual Assault?
Each state has and uses different definitions for “rape,” “sexual assault,” “sexual abuse,” and other similar terms. In Texas, sexual assault and rape are legally the same thing, though in law you will hear it referred to as sexual assault.
Trigger Warning: Please note that the following definitions and explanations include graphic descriptions of sexual violence.
Sexual assault is any penetration – be it oral, anal, or vaginal – with a sex organ or any object, by one person, against another without consent OR causes another person to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sexual organ of another person without their consent. .
Specifically The Texas Penal Code states:
Sec. 22.011. SEXUAL ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if the person: intentionally or knowingly:
(A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent;
(B) causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person’s consent; or
(C) causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person’s consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor
If you are not in Texas, please check the law in your state for a precise legal definition. Because laws are different in every state, it is important to find out the law in your state. You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE to find out more about the laws in your state.
Who Does Sexual Assault Happen To?
Rape can happen to ANYONE! Rape victims who have contacted the Crisis Center of Southeast Texas have included women and men of all ages, ethnic groups, and income groups. So, no matter who you are or where you live, unfortunately, sexual assault CAN happen to you!
Do I Have to Be Afraid of Being Attacked All The Time?
No, but you do have to be realistic. Many rapists look for victims who are "easy marks". That means that they look for women and men who are not careful about avoiding dangerous situations. Since other people will not always be around to prevent a rapist from attacking you, you have to learn to protect yourself!