Was It Sexual Assault?

Sexual violence can take many different forms, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault.

What is sexual violence?

The term sexual violence refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Forms of sexual violence include:

  • Attempted rape
  • Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
  • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
  • Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape

What is rape?

Rape is a form of sexual violence, but not all sexual violence is rape. The term rape is often used as a legal definition to specifically include sexual penetration without consent. For its Uniform Crime Reports, the FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

What is force?

Force doesn’t always refer to physical pressure. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics.

Other types of sexual violence include child sexual abuse, sexual assault of men and boys, intimate partner sexual violence, incest, and drug-facilitated sexual violence.

RAIIN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) is a resource for more information (rainn.org)

If you need to talk to someone about sexual violence, call our 24-hour hotline at 540-667-6466 to speak to an advocate.

The Laurel Center services are open to all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity, ability, national origin, and other characteristics protected by federal, state or local laws.


P.O. Box 14
Winchester, VA. 22604

24-Hour Hotline: 540-667-6466
Business Line: 540-667-6160
Fax: 540-667-0138

Warren County Sexual Assault Program

24-Hour Hotline: 540-305-1083

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