A person commits sexual assault by
intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral
sexual contact with any person without consent of such person. Sexual
assault is punishable by a minimum of 5 years in prison. Read the
Arizona State Statute for more information.
A person commits sexual abuse by
intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual contact with any person
without consent of that person, punishable by a minimum of one year
in prison. Read the Arizona State Statute for more information.
Sexual contact is legally defined as
intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the
genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any
person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse
or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
Sexual assault facts
Sexual assault is an act of violence,
power, and control. It is not about sex or sexual desire/need. Sexual
assault is motivated primarily out of anger and/or a need to feel
powerful by controlling, dominating, or humiliating the victim.
Sexual assault is most often planned or
carried out by intimate partners, acquaintances, or family members.
Survivors are not responsible for
causing their assaults; only offenders are to be blamed for sexual
assault and rape.
Sexual assault has nothing to do with
who the victim is or what they look like.
College students are at high risk for sexual
College students are in one of the most
vulnerable age groups for sexual assault. College-aged women are four
times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women of any other
- 1 of 5 U.S. women will be the
victim of completed or attempted sexual assault during their
lifetime (Koss, 1996).
- A woman is sexually assaulted every two
minutes (US Dept of Justice, 2000).
- 1 of 33 U.S. men has experienced
an attempted or completed rape as a child and/or an adult. (National
Violence Against Women Survey, 1998)
- 69% of female victims were raped
or sexually assaulted by someone they know (National Crime
Victimization Survey, US Dept of Justice, 2003).
- Only 54% of rapes and sexual
assaults are reported (National Crime Victimization Survey, US Dept
of Justice, 2003).
Northern Arizona University statistics
A 2007 National College Health
Assessment survey of Northern Arizona University students revealed
- 7% of students reported sexual
touching against their will
- 3.7% of students received verbal
threats for sex against their will
- 2% of students experienced
attempted sex against their will
- 0.8 % of students experienced
actual penetration against their will
Why does sexual assault happen?
Believing “no” means “yes” or “maybe”
Sometimes someone says, "no"
verbally and sometimes someone says, "no" non-verbally by
pushing or turning away. If your partner says, "no," or
even hesitates, stop. Talk about what he or she is feeling and listen
closely to the message you are receiving.
Everyone wants to be accepted and
liked. Dressing to be attractive, even sexy, is natural. It does not
necessarily mean that someone wants to have sex. Appearance, words,
and actions can be misinterpreted. Communicate with your date about
what you want - and what you don't want.
Our society "teaches" men and
women certain roles that help create an atmosphere in which date rape
can happen. Men are taught to take control and never express tender,
"weak" emotions. Women are taught to be passive but to take
all responsibility for setting sexual limits. To stop rape, we must
all take responsibility to be respectful of one another and reject
these false stereotypes.
Alcohol and drug use
In the state of Arizona, a person
cannot legally consent to sex if he/she is under the influence of
alcohol or drugs. Being drunk or "high" lowers your
inhibitions and impairs your ability to make safe choices. If you are
drinking, be sure you are with people you can trust and know that
drinking may make you unable to hear the "no" your partner
is trying to communicate to you.
Men as victims
In the United States, about 10 percent
of reported rapes involve male victims, and many more go unreported.
Men and boys are often reluctant to report the crime of sexual
assault, or to seek services because they feel humiliated, shamed or
confused by the crime or because they feel that seeking help will
make them feel vulnerable or weak.
Most perpetrators of male sexual
assault are men, and they rape both gay and straight men. Rape is an
act of violence, not of sex or sexual desire.
Help is available. Most rape crisis
centers provide free and confidential services for all people who
have been hurt by sexual assault, including men.
Sex without consent is rape.
Consent is when all adult parties
verbally agree to participate in a sexual act. All parties must:
- share an understanding of what
they are consenting to
- share a cultural knowledge about
the meaning of the act for which they are giving consent
- offer consent freely, without
coercion, force or manipulation
- be fully mentally capable of
- know that they can offer consent
and still maintain the option to change their mind at any given
point and still be treated respectfully
Someone can never legally give consent
in the state of Arizona if they are:
- under the age of 18
- severely developmentally disabled
or seriously mentally ill
- intoxicated or under the influence
of drugs and/or alcohol
Sometimes it is very difficult to know
when consent is being given. Our society is dripping with mixed
signals. It is possible that one of the parties may not feel safe
enough to say "no" clearly. Sometimes the signals are
there, but they are ignored.
Some people think that "it ruins
the moment" to ask aloud if what is happening is okay. By using
clear words, the person asking creates a safe and comfortable space
(which is the only space for sexual expression). It shows that all
parties are respected and valued.
Remember to stop, ask, and clarify. The
difference could mean rape.