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Domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape

Sexual assault and rape

SSEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPEMany people use the terms sexual assault and rape incorrectly because they don’t know the definitions or the legal difference. So, in no particular order, here are three definitions from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Citizen's Advice, Victim Support and the Crown Prosecution Service:

Metropolitan Police Service

  • "The legal definition of rape is when a person intentionally penetrates another's vagina, anus or mouth with a penis, without the other person's consent. Assault by penetration is when a person penetrates another person's vagina or anus with any part of the body other than a penis, or by using an object, without the person's consent."
  • "The overall definition of sexual or indecent assault is an act of physical, psychological and emotional violation in the form of a sexual act, inflicted on someone without their consent. It can involve forcing or manipulating someone to witness or participate in any sexual acts."

Citizen's Advice

  • "The law defines rape as non-consensual penetration of someone’s vagina, anus or mouth by another person’s penis. Non-consensual means you didn't freely agree to have sexual intercourse. Someone can also be convicted for rape if they assist or help someone else to rape."
  • "Sexual assault is when someone intentionally touches you without your consent. It wouldn’t count as consent if: you were subjected to violence or threats of violence; violence or threats of violence were made against someone else to force you to consent; you were asleep, unconscious, drugged or incapacitated by alcohol; your disability meant you were not able to communicate your lack of consent."

Victim Support

  • "If a man forces you to have penetrative sex, or has sex with you without your consent or agreement, that’s rape. Rape includes penetration with his penis of the vagina, anus or mouth without consent. Whatever the circumstances, nobody has the right to force you to have sex or have sex with you without your consent. If this happens to you, it’s important to remember it’s not your fault. Both men and women can be raped but only men can commit rape. If someone (male or female) sexually assaults you by penetrating you with another part of their body or another object, this is classed as ‘assault by penetration’ but will be treated similarly to rape if taken to court."
  • "If someone intentionally grabs or touches you in a sexual way that you don’t like, or you’re forced to kiss someone or do something else sexual against your will, that’s sexual assault. This includes sexual touching of any part of someone’s body, and it makes no difference whether you’re wearing clothes or not. Anyone can be sexually assaulted and both men and women can commit sexual assault."

Crown Prosecution Service

  • "A rape is when a person uses their penis without consent to penetrate the vagina, mouth, or anus of another person. Legally, a person without a penis cannot commit rape, but a female may be guilty of rape if they assist a male perpetrator in an attack."
  • "Sexual assault is when a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will, or when a person, male or female, touches another person sexually without their consent. Touching can be done with any part of the body or with an object. Sexual penetration is when a person (male or female) penetrates the vagina or anus of another person with any part of their body or an object without that person’s consent."

Sex and consent | MEN R US
Connection and consent | MEN R US

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