Sexual assault is when two people come in contact of a sexual nature, but one of the two people does not want this contact to happen. In some cases, one of the people involved may also be unable to consent to the contact. For example, they might be too young to consent or they may be unconscious. Rape is one form of sexual assault, but there are others.
Different countries have different definitions of sexual assault. It is illegal, but often not reported. People convicted of sexual assault are sometimes sent to prison. In some places the crime of sexual assault has replaced the crime of rape. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, rape is a separate crime to sexual assault.
A 2010-2011 study in the United States of 1058 people aged 14 to 21 found that 8% had sexually assaulted in their lives. In 66% of cases no one found out and the perpetrator did not get into any trouble. 50% said that their victim was completely to blame. 2% had raped and 3% had tried to rape.
In 2014 a study was published by the journal Gender & Society which found that girls and young women rarely reported abuse because they saw sexual violence against them as normal behavior from males.
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