What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will, or any non-consensual sexual touching of a person. Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence, and it includes rape (such as forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration or drug facilitated sexual assault), groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the person in a sexual manner.[1][2][3]

In legal terms, sexual assault is a statutory offense in various jurisdictions, including the United States, Canada, England and Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. The legal definition of the crime of sexual assault is determined by each jurisdiction. Specific legal jurisdictions and research often use highly technical or detailed definitions of the term. In some places, such as New South Wales, the crime of sexual assault has replaced the traditional crime of rape, and is being defined as non-consensual penetrative sex.[4] By contrast, in other jurisdictions, the crime deals with non-penetrative sexual contact.