Sexual Assault

What is Sexual Assault?
  • Any unwanted sexual contact.Woman with Eyes Closed
  • Uninvited sexual contact by force, threats, bribes, manipulation, pressure, drugs, alcohol or violence.
  • Sexual assault is a crime committed primarily out of a need to feel powerful or to control and dominate another person.
  • Sexual violence occurs any time a person does not consent to a sexual act.

Consent means that permission is given freely and an individual fully understands the nature of an act.

Consent is NOT present when:

  • The victim is physically helpless.
  • The perpetrator knows that the victim is unable to understand the consequences of his or her own behavior.
  • The perpetrator has in some way through alcohol, drugs, etc., substantially impaired  the victim’s power to understand or control the situation.
  • The person is drunk, unconscious, asleep or otherwise unable to indicate a willingness to participate.
  • In Colorado, one in four women and one in seventeen men have experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault. (Sexual Assault in Colorado:  Results of a 1998 Statewide Survey, July 1999)
  • Most sexual assaults are committed by someone the person knows. (U.S. Department of Justice.  2005 National Crime Victimization Study)
  • At least 50 percent of college student sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use. (What Happened?  Information About Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (Date Rape Drugs).  Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault. 2010)
  • Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, with 60% still being left unreported. (U.S. Department of Justice.  2005 National Crime Victimization Study)
  • Victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression and six times more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder.  (World Health Organization 2002)