Rape is defined as a sexual assault that includes but is not limited to forced vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. People often think rape is mostly committed by strangers, but almost two-thirds of all rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. Rapists can be a friend, a partner, a date, or a stranger.
Consent should be the basis for any sexual encounter. Rape and sexual assault occur when a sexual act is performed on you without your consent. An individual cannot consent if they are asleep, incapacitated, or intoxicated. Deception, threats, physical force, or coercion cannot be used to force consent.
Simply put, no means no, and silence does not mean yes. Consent is nothing short of a resounding “yes,” it must be freely and enthusiastically given by both parties, and it cannot be forced.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, it is important to get medical treatment for your injuries. It is best not to wash or shower before getting treatment so that the physical evidence of the attack may be preserved.
Medical treatment is important to prevent further damage to your health, including treatment for physical injuries and testing for STDs and HIV. You do not have to go to the hospital or doctor alone. A friend or family member may accompany you, or a trained Rape Crisis Advocate can accompany you and provide useful information to aid in your recovery.