Facts about Sexual Violence
Before we can explore various facts regarding sexual violence, it is important that we first know about a few definitions. Sexual violence, according to KASAP, occurs when a person is coerced, manipulated, or forced into any sexual activity that is unsolicited and harmful.
Under Kentucky laws, rape means sexual violence including sexual intercourse. However, note that the term rape is used commonly for the purpose of referring to the wide range of sexual violence as captured throughout our website.
To know what is “force” or “coercion”, understand that perpetrators of sexual violence often rely on the use of threats, manipulation, or coercion for getting what they want. Some of the examples include:
• Holding a person down physically or restraining the movement of a person.
• Making direct/indirect threats against a person, her/his reputation, family, etc.
• Blackmailing a person into sex.
• Displaying/using a weapon.
Consent means the permission that is given by someone able to give legal consent. Under KY law–KRS 510.020, a person is not in a position to give consent if he or she is:
• Under 16 years old.
• Mentally incapacitated or physically helpless such as someone severely intoxicated.
• Mentally retarded.
Note that silence or submission does not mean consent.
Rape is used as a tool for gaining power and control. A rapist wants to feel dominant over the person he/she is raping and thus rape is not just about having sex but taking away the personal power and control of another individual.
Men can also be subjected to sexual violence. Rape is not just women’s issue, contrary to popular belief. According to statistics available, 1 out of 33 men in their lifetime is often sexually assaulted. Most men are usually raped by other men and not women. Majority of rapists are men (Tjaden&Thoennes, 2006). Also, note that the majority of men who sexually assault other men are themselves heterosexual. Always remember that rape is about the rapist taking away the power and control of the victim and not concerned about sexual arousal.
A victim of sexual violence should never be blamed. No human being deserves to be raped. The people perpetrating sexual violence are not looking for people who are looking or dressing in a particular way. Rapists look for opportunity and vulnerability to carry out a sexual assault. The rapist is the only one who can prevent a sexual assault.