Sexual Assault

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault is any unwanted sexual contact up to and including rape without a person’s consent. Sexual Assault is an umbrella term that may include: kissing, fondling/touching, oral, anal or vaginal penetration. 

Types of Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault Statistics
Myths & Facts
Know Your Options
This document provides helpful information about MOCSA advocacy and local resources. En Español

Types of Sexual Assault

The term "non-stranger rape" is used to describe a rape in which the victim and the offender know one another. The level of acquaintance may be as close as intimate partners living together or as casual as two students who share a class or work environment.

Brief Encounter
Brief encounter is someone the victim has met and been assaulted by within 24 hours. The persons are not complete strangers, but they may not consider themselves acquaintances either. They typically meet in social settings, either through friends or at a bar/restaurant. 

Intimate Partner Sexual Assault
Intimate partner sexual assault is used to describe sexual assault that is perpetrated by the victims’ current or former intimate partner. Intimate Partner Violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors and sexual assault may be only one form of abuse the victim is experiencing. 

Stranger Sexual Assault
Stranger sexual assault is an assault perpetrated by someone the victim has never met. 

Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault
Drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) occurs when a victim voluntarily consumes drugs or alcohol or when involuntarily given a substance for the purpose of facilitating a sexual assault. The weapon in this type of sexual assault is the alcohol or drug. Alcohol is the most common substance used to facilitate sexual assaults. Other drugs may include GHB, Rohypnol, Ketamine, and other prescription or over the counter drugs that cause drowsiness or decrease alertness.

 Sexual Assault Statistics

— A sexual assault occurs every 2 minutes in the US (

— 1 in every 6 women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her life (Tjaden and Thoennes, 2006)

— 1 of every 33 men has been raped at some time in his life (Tjaden and Thoennes, 2006)

— Only 20% of victims will report the sexual assault (Tjaden and Thoennes, 2006)

— Approximately 90% of rape and sexual assault victims knew their attacker prior to the assault (Fisher, 2000)

— 90% of all acquaintance rapes involve alcohol (National Collegiate Date and Acquaintance Rape Statistics, 1996)

 Sexual Assault: Myths & Facts

MYTH: The victim asked to be sexually assaulted because of their dress and/or behavior.
FACT: Only perpetrators are responsible for the crime of sexual assault. While it is true that people may at times engage in high-risk behaviors, such as drinking or doing drugs, no one deserves to be raped.

MYTH: Most reports of sexual assault are false, the victim made up the story.
FACT: Only 2-8% of all sexual assault reports are false (Lonsway, Archambault and Lisak, 2009).

MYTH: Rape is motivated by uncontrollable sexual desire; once aroused, a man is unable to control himself sexually; or men rape for sexual gratification.
FACT: Rape is a crime of power and control. It is motivated by the need to dominate or humiliate the victim. Most rapists have consensual sexual partners.

MYTH: Only women can be sexually assaulted.
FACT: According to the United States Department of Justice Bureaus of Statistics, approximately 10% of rape victims are male (

MYTH: Rape is a physically violent assault, perpetrated by a stranger who uses a weapon after dark in an isolated location.
FACT: Most perpetrators use only the force necessary to commit the assault. Very few victims suffer severe physical injuries as a result. In fact, only 47% of rape victims sustain injuries other than rape injuries. In 2003, a weapon was used in 11% of reported rapes (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004).