Sexual Assault

What is it?

Common terms associated with sexual assault are: rape, date rape, sodomy, and sex abuse. Sexual assault consists of any unwanted sexual contact as defined in ORS 163.305, which includes contact resulting from physical force or a threat of force that places a person in fear of immediate or future death or physical injury to self or another person.  Sexual assault may involve touching, fondling, contact between the mouth and either the victim's or the abuser's private parts, and putting body parts or other objects inside the victim's body.


Who commits sexual assault?

Some perpetrators of sexual assault (those who commit the crime) are strangers.  However, most victims are sexually assaulted by someone they know- family members, friends, romantic partners (including spouses) or acquaintances.


Important facts about sexual assault

Some important facts for victims to understand about sexual assault are that:

  • Sexual assault is a violent crime
  • The perpetrator is responsible
  • Rape can occur between intimate partners (for example, married people, people in romantic relationships).


Victim responses

Victims may react to sexual assault in different ways.  They may not tell anyone and they may blame themselves.

Victims often feel shock, numbness, lack of control, helplessness or vulnerability.  They may be filled with fear and anxiety and may not want to be around friends or family. Some describe being unable to concentrate, changes in eating patterns, nightmares, flashbacks.  Some may not experience any of these things.  THERE IS NO "TYPICAL" REACTION TO SEXUAL ASSAULT.


If you are a victim
(or know someone who is a victim of sexual assault)

Decisions to consider:

Medical care, Reporting the Crime, Counseling. For more information about your options call Victims' Assistance 541-388-6525,  Saving Grace Hotline 541-389-7021 or the National Crime Victim Helpline 1-800-394-2255. 

If someone is being hurt or is in danger right now, call 911 immediately.