Any type of unwanted sexual act done by one person to another that violates the sexual integrity of the victim and involves a range of behaviours from unwanted touching to penetration. Sexual assault is characterized by a broad range of behaviours involving the use of force, threats or control towards a person, which makes that person feel uncomfortable, distressed, frightened, threatened or that is carried out in circumstances in which the person has not freely agreed, consented to or is incapable of consenting to.
A broad term that describes any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality. The violence takes difference forms including sexual abuse and sexual assault.
At the core of sexual assault is the lack of consent. Understanding what is meant by consent, when it can and cannot be given and ensuring that you have full consent before engaging in sexual activity is paramount.
Consent: The voluntary and explicit agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. It is the act of willingly agreeing to engage in specific sexual behaviour, and requires that a person is able to freely choose between two options: yes and no. This means that there must be an understandable exchange of affirmative words which indicates a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. It is also imperative that everyone understands the following:
It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual activity to ensure clear and affirmative responses are communicated at all stages of sexual engagement. It is also the initiator's responsibility to know if the person they are engaging with sexually is minor.