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Survivors > Sexual Violence > FAQs on sexual violence

Common Questions regarding sexual assault

Identifying sexual assault at times might be confusing because of the circumstances in which it occurred. You may have some questions regarding whether or not you were sexually assaulted. Below are some commonly asked questions regarding assault:

I didnt resist physically does that mean it isnt sexual assault?

Just because you didnt resist physically doesnt mean it wasnt rape  in fact, many victims make the good judgment that physical resistance would cause the attacker to become more violent. Lack of consent can be express (saying no or it can be implied from the circumstances (for example, if you were under the statutory age of consent, or if you had a mental defect, or if you were afraid to object because the perpetrator threatened you with serious physical injury).

I used to date the person who assaulted me  does that mean it isnt sexual assault?
This is the most invisibelised form of abuse! Rape can occur when the offender and the victim have a pre-existing relationship (sometimes called date rape or acquaintance rape), or even when the offender is the victims spouse. It does not matter whether the other person is an ex-boyfriend or a complete stranger, and it doesn't matter if you've had sex in the past, with the same person - this time it was non consensual, this is also accompanied by other forms of abuse such as controling, jealousy etc. If it is non-consensual this time, it is rape.

I dont remember the assault  does that mean it isnt sexual assault?
Just because you dont remember being assaulted doesnt necessarily mean it didnt happen and that it wasnt rape. Memory loss can result from the ingestion of GHB and other rape drugs and from excessive alcohol consumption.or mixing of drinks. That said, without clear memories or physical evidence, it may not be possible to pursue prosecution. In some cases the memory is so painful to think of that you might push it out of your consciouness and therefore not recollect it.

I was drunk or he was drunk, does that mean it isnt sexual assault?
Alcohol and drugs are not an excuse or an alibi. The key question is still: did you consent or not? Regardless of whether you were drunk or sober, if the sex is nonconsensual, it is rape.



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