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Sexual Assault and Rape

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Forms of Sexual Assault and Rape continued...

Date rape: Date rape is a sexual assault that occurs when you already have a relationship with the person who assaulted you and you have agreed to be with that person in some form or another (such as a date). A date, however, does not imply any consent for sexual contact, and a sexual assault that takes place during a date is still a sexual assault and will be treated as such by law enforcement.

Spousal rape: In spousal rape, a husband can be accused of sexual assault on his own wife. Although uncommon, a dysfunctional marital relationship can lead to both physical assault and sexual assault against a spouse. This is a form of domestic violence. These assaults are handled the same as any other sexual assault allegation by law enforcement.

Statutory rape: Statutory rape is sex with a minor. A minor is a person younger than 18 years old. Quite a bit of confusion exists about this law. Some states allow intercourse with minors who are emancipated (legally freed of control from their parents), and other states allow minors to marry. Many minors engage in sexual intercourse with other minors and are not prosecuted. Adult engagement in sex with minors is generally not tolerated, and adults should not engage in intercourse with younger people unless the adult is sure the youth is emancipated or older than 18 years. This crime is legally known as a strict liability crime. This means that if a person has sex with a minor, no excuse is acceptable to a court, including being duped, mistaken, or ignorant of the law. If a person has sex with a minor, he or she can be charged with statutory rape, to which no defense exists. To avoid this crime, extra caution is needed when engaging in sex with someone at or near the age of 18.

Terms and Concepts in Sexual Assault

Consent

Consent is the conscious and considered agreement to voluntarily engage in sexual activity with another. Under certain conditions, consent is considered to be denied regardless of any actions on the part of the victim. Those conditions include force, fear of great harm, threats with real or alleged weapons, or the use or threat of physical injury.

People who are mentally compromised, intoxicated, or under a certain age are considered by the law incapable of giving consent, even if they appear to be consenting. These laws may vary by state.

When fear or intimidation is used, it is not necessary for a victim to resist or say "no" to establish that sexual assault has taken place. Intimidation of any sort invalidates any legal defense based upon the idea that the victim consented. Nonconsent is implied in all cases of intimidation.

WebMD Medical Reference

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