Sexual Assault and Rape

Rape is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object.

Sexual Assault is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling.

- 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).

– 9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.

- About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

(all of the above were taken from

Although sexual assault and rape are clearly serious crimes and social problems, there are many common myths held about their nature.  The following pages name and address each of these myths in turn.