Sexual Violence Information

Definition:

Sexual assault is any sexual activity involving a person who does not, or can not consent.

Sexual assault/rape is an act of violence and power, not sexual intimacy. It can happen to anyone, female or male, young or old, single or married. It is any activity into which a person is forced, tricked or coerced without her/his consent. Sexual assault is a more general term that includes rape but also any kind of unwanted sexual contact. Sexual contact can happen anywhere- on the reservation, village, rancheria, city, home… it is a crime.

Continuum of Sexual Assault:

Sexual assault is not an isolated act; it is a continuum of common events/activities, both legal and illegal. Offenders may act out the whole continuum. The common denominator for this continuum is lack of respect, loss of power, and control.

Types of Sexual Assault:

  • Stranger Rape: This is rape by a person or persons unknown to the victim. Although this is the most feared type of assault, it is the least common.Acquaintance Rape: Forced intercourse by a person known to the victim. In this type of rape, the trust of the relationship is often used to take advantage of another.
  • Sexual Contact (touching or grabbing): This refers to any unwanted touching or grabbing by someone known or unknown to the person.
  • Obscene Phone Calls
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Child Sexual Abuse: Any sexual contact or interaction between a child and an adult, adolescent, or another child. Child sexual abuse can take many forms including indecent exposure, obscene phone calls, voyeurism, use of pornography, fondling; and oral, vaginal, or anal intercourse.
  • Incest: Sexual contact or interaction between family members.
  • Sexual Harassment: Any repeated and/or unwanted sexual advances, looks, jokes, innuendoes, etc. from a person or persons in the workplace or school which makes an employee or student uncomfortable and/or causes her/him problems on the job or in school.
  • Sexual Exploitation by Professionals or Spiritual Leaders: Inappropriate sexual conversations, dating, or suggestions of sexual involvement by the professional or spiritual leader.
  • Prostitution: This refers to the many ways in which sexual acts are sold for money or other goods and services.
  • Pornography: This refers to material that combines sex and/or the exposure of genitals with the abuse or degradation in a manner that appears to endorse, condone, or encourage such behavior.
  • Marital Rape: Any sexual activity by a married or cohabitating partner that is performed or caused to be performed without the consent of the other partner.

Source: Songidee Biimadaziwin, MIWRC, June 2001