Sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:
- Attempted rape
- Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
- Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
Force doesn’t always refer to physical pressure. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics.
How to Help
- Listen to the victim without judgment and help them get to a safe place
- Reassure the victim it is not their fault and let them know you are there to help/support them in any way
- Encourage them to seek medical attention and offer to go with them
- Offer to assist the victim in finding ongoing help and support
When You Should Call
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault and/or exhibiting any of the following warning signs, the Arkansas Crisis Center is here for you to provide emotional support and resources in your area. If someone is in immediate danger or you are unable to connect, please dial 9-1-1.
- Signs of depression.
- Avoiding specific situations or places.
- Increase in drug or alcohol use.
- Engaging in self-harming behaviors.
- Low self-esteem.
- Signs of physical abuse.
- Changes in hygiene or appearance.
- Sexually transmitted infections.