What Is Sexual Violence2019-05-21T13:18:09-04:00

About Sexual Violence

Exploring the continuum of Sexual Violence.

About Sexual Violence

Exploring the continuum of Sexual Violence.

Sexual Violence Defined

Sexual violence is a widespread crime suffered worldwide by individuals of all ages, races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, gender identities, sexual orientations, and geographic locations. It is suffered disproportionately by women of color, individuals with disabilities, and individuals who identify as LGBTQI. It is, unfortunately, one of the most underreported crimes and is associated with numerous negative health and economic outcomes for survivors. OAESV.org

Most rapes are committed in dark alleys by strangers. The majority of rapists are known to the survivor and assaults often occur in locations familiar to the survivor and/or rapist.
Rape is motivated by uncontrollable sexual desire. Rape is a violent crime of power and control in which sex is used as a weapon to harm and humiliate.
If the survivor was dressed provocatively or intoxicated or high, it’s her/his fault. It is never the survivor’s fault, no matter what s/he was or was not doing or wearing.  No one ever asks for or deserves to be raped.
Women often lie about being raped. Very few reported rapes are false – about 4% – which is consistent with the false reporting rate for most other felony crimes.
If the survivor didn’t resist or struggle, then it wasn’t rape. There are many reasons a survivor may not (or cannot) resist, including fear, being overpowered, or being incapacitated.
Only gay men rape other men. Most males who rape other males identify as heterosexual. Rape is about power and control, not sexual desire or orientation.
Rape cannot happen in same-gender relationships. Males can rape other males, and females can rape other females, whether in an intimate relationship, acquaintances, or strangers.
Prostitutes can’t be raped; someone engaging in risky sexual behavior is to blame if s/he is raped. Regardless of a person’s sexual history or behavior, if s/he did not consent, it is rape. A sex worker or any individual can be raped by someone with whom s/he had prior consensual sexual contact.

Are you experiencing crisis?

If you are experiencing crisis please call the Rape Crisis Center Hotline or Battered Women’s Shelter Hotline. We have advocates available 24 hours a day.

If you would like to know more about Crisis Intervention and how we might support you please visit the BWS or RCC service pages.



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