What is Sexual Assault?
The Texas Penal Code says a person commits sexual assault “If that person causes the penetration of the anus, vagina, or mouth of another person with a sexual organ or object, without that person’s consent OR causes another person to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus or sexual organ of another person without their consent.”
Who Does Sexual Assault Happen To?
Rape can happen to ANYONE! Rape victims who have contacted the Rape Crisis Center, Brazos Valley in Bryan, Texas have included women and men of all ages, ethnic groups, and income groups. So, no matter who you are or where you live, unfortunately, sexual assault CAN happen to you!
Do I Have to Be Afraid of Being Attacked All The Time?
No, but you do have to be realistic. Many rapists look for victims who are “easy marks”. That means that they look for women and men who are not careful about avoiding dangerous situations. Since other people will not always be around to prevent a rapist from attacking you, you have to learn to protect yourself!
What if You Know Someone Who’s a Victim of Sexual Assault?
Sexual Assault is a terrible experience for the victim (and for his/her friends and family, too). If you know a sexual assault victim, you may notice they seem to act differently for a while–withdrawn, afraid or unsure. You yourself may feel hurt, angry or upset.
What Can You Do?
First, show the person you care. Give them your support by being available to spend time with them,. Have dinner, go to a movie, or go shopping. Your friend may be afraid to be alone. Let them talk about the crime if they wish. Many victims feel guilty or ashamed after a sexual assault. They may feel that they didn’t fight hard enough. They may blame themselves for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You should let the victim know they did the right thing–just what they had to do to survive.