Sexual Assault



Specific legal definition varies from state to state:
  • Nonconsensual completed or attempted penetration between the penis and vulva or penis and anus
  • Nonconsensual contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus
  • Nonconsensual penetration of the anal or genital opening with a finger, hand, or object
  • Nonconsensual intentional touching, directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, vagina, anus, groin, inner thigh, or buttocks
  • Occurs because of physical force, psychological, coercion or incapacitation or impairment
  • Occurs when a victim cannot consent due to age or developmental challenges


  • Lifetime prevalence of sexual assault in the U.S. approaches 20% in women, 2% in men
  • National data shows that teenagers and young adults ages 12–34 have the highest rates of being sexually assaulted
  • ∼70% of female rape victims are raped by someone they know; however, men are primarily raped and physically assaulted by strangers and acquaintances, not intimate partners
  • Women who are disabled, pregnant, or attempting to leave their abusers are at increased risk of intimate partner rape
  • Prevalence of sexual assault in men is higher in those who are gay, bisexual, veterans, prison inmates, or seeking mental health services
  • Nearly 25% of victims are raped or sexually assaulted by a current or former partner

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