What is Sexual Assault? Part 1

Sexual assault is a broad term which can be used to describe many different types of unwanted or abusive sexual encounters. It is important to understand that this term is not only for severe actions such as rape and can be applied to many other situations.

Part 1 of this topic is designed to cover the basic definitions of sexual assault as it is understood in our community. Follow our blog for Part 2 where we’ll discuss how sexual assault is classified under the law.

Defining sexual assault

Sexual assault can be classified as any action which forces, coerces or tricks another person into sexual acts which are against their will, without their consent, or in the case of a child or person under 18 being exposed to sexual activities. Sexual assault is a crime and allegations are taken very seriously. It can happen to persons who are young or old; male, female or gender minorities.

Common sexual assault allegations

Sexual assault is a general term which can be used to describe a number of sexual activities which are varied in their severity. There are many situations, which we may have believed to be innocent, in which a person may be accused of sexual assault. Some of the commonly used terms in our society include:

  • Indecent assault
  • Rape or date rape
  • Sexual intercourse without consent
  • Molestation
  • Incest
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Sexual harassment
  • Inappropriate touching

If you have been accused of a sexual assault, it is important to seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. A qualified lawyer will be able to assist you with understanding the allegations and their severity, offering advice on your next steps and providing support during this difficult time.

Comparing sexual assault and sexual abuse

Sexual assault and sexual abuse are similar in terms of the actions which may be classified as either. However, there is a subtle difference in their definition.

Sexual assault is when a person involves another in sexual activities through manipulation or without their consent.

Sexual abuse is when a person in a position of power or authority takes advantage of their position in order to involve another in sexual activities. Sexual abuse is commonly classified in cases involving minors, but it may also be relevant in other circumstances such as; doctor and patient relationships, student and teacher relationships and similar.

Make an informed choice with Powerhouse Law

Being accused of a sexual assault is a serious matter. Powerhouse Law have a team of experienced sexual assault lawyers who can help you build a strong strategy for your defence and help to educate you in the legal ramifications of these allegations. To arrange a consultation with our team, call us on 1800 100 529 or send us a message online.

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