Q: What is sexual assault?
A: Sexual assault is any sexual activity that you have not consented to. It can include unwanted touching, penetration of the mouth, anus or vagina, or sexual intercourse.
Q: Was I assaulted?
A. If you feel that you may have been a victim of sexual assault, there are three easy questions to consider that can help you understand if a sex act was actually consensual.
First, were you old enough to consent? In most states the age of consent is either sixteen or eighteen. If you were not old enough to consent to sex, you were assaulted.
Secondly, did you have the legal capacity to consent? Were you drunk or drugged? If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you were unable to consent to sex and were assaulted.
Finally, did you agree to take part? Did someone use force or the threat of force to make you do something against your will? If you were forced or threatened into having sex, you were raped.
Rape and sexual assault are never the victim’s fault. Help is out there, and you can get it.
Q: The attacker was someone I know. Was I still assaulted?
A: Yes. Most assaults are actually committed by a friend, family member, or acquaintance of the victim. Only ten percent of rapes are committed by strangers. If you did not consent to sex, you were assaulted—even if the assailant was your friend, partner, or spouse.
Q: I was passed out, asleep, or unconscious when it happened. Was it rape?
A: Yes. An unconscious person is not able to consent.
Q: Can assault survivors suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
A: Yes. Assault survivors often experience feelings of stress, fear, anger, or anxiety, and these feelings can be severe. PTSD can be treated. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-4673) to speak with someone trained to help survivors with their trauma. You can also ask for a referral to a counselor or a therapist in your area.
Q: What should I do if I have been assaulted?
A: If you have recently been assaulted, find a safe place immediately. Get away from your attacker. Find a friend who can support you and stay with you at the hospital, or call a crisis center hotline (such as 800-656-HOPE/4673) for support and information.
Get medical attention at the nearest emergency room as soon as possible. Ask hospital staff to put you in touch with a local rape crisis center. Make every effort to preserve evidence of the assault—for example don’t change your clothes, don’t brush your teeth, and don’t shower.
If the assault was a while ago, you can still call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for help, advice, or counseling. They can be reached at 800-656-HOPE/4673, and can also refer you to a crisis center in your area.
Remember: assault is never the victim’s fault. Whatever you’re feeling—guilt, shock, anger, fear—is normal. Help is available, and you have a right to ask for it.
 Author’s Name Not Available, “Sexual Assault Factsheet,” Women’s Health. WomensHealth.gov. (Accessed February 13, 2015).
Psalm 3:3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.
Psalm 9:9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. The rebuke of His people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
Isaiah 53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
Isaiah 61:7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your care upon Him, for he cares for you.
Revelation 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.