Baylor > Counseling Center > Resources > Online for Students > What is sexual assault?
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is a term that is used to describe a broad range of unwanted sexual contact. Any type of sexual assault is illegal, and you may consider pressing charges.
Information from the Texas Penal Code can be found here.
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact that happens against a person's will or without consent. This can include sexual assault, sexual abuse, or rape. These happen because the perpetrator wants to feel powerful and in control. These actions include any unwanted contact, including intercourse, touching, or any other sexual stimulation that is performed without consent or through the use or threat of force.
Sexual abuse is any type of sexual interaction between an adult and a minor, including sexual intercourse, touching, or contact.
Rape is any kind of sexual intercourse that is committed against a person's will or is committed with or by the threat of force. There are two types: date rape and stranger rape.
Date Rape (aka "acquaintance rape") is a form of sexual assault involving unwanted sexual activities with someone the rape survivor knows. If a person says no and is still forced into having sex, then it's considered rape. Many times women or men who have been date raped do not view the assault as rape. Often times on a college campus, the survivor and the perpetrator will live near each other.
Communication is key to understanding another person's desires and concerns. Often, these needs are misinterpreted. Being clear about what you are and are not willing to do will help avoid any situations in which you don't want to find yourself.
The bottom line is "yes" means yes and "no" means no!
Stranger rape is when a victim does not know the perpetrator.