Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Sexual misconduct can be committed by a person of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different gender.
If you are unsure that you have been a victim of sexual misconduct, chances are you have been victimized. It is important to remember that healthy sexual relationships are based on respect, trust and consent. Every individual has agency over their own body, and has the right decide what may or may not happen to their body. Below are definitions of some different types of sexual misconduct.
Sexual assault- sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Sexual assault is a broad spectrum, that includes various kinds of unwanted sexual contact, and can even occur without physical touch. Different types of sexual assault are listed and defined below:
Sexual harassment- unwanted sexual advances, verbal obscene remarks, or requests for sexual favors. Sexual harassment can occur in the workplace, or in other social settings.
Fondling- the touching of the private body parts of another person, including breasts, buttocks, genitals, inner thighs, groin, or anus. Fondling can occur through or underneath the clothing.
Forced Sexual Contact- force doesn’t always refer to physical pressure. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual touching of private areas. This also includes forcing a victim to perform sexual acts they do not want to perform, such as oral sex or penetration.
Attempted Rape- assault on another person with the intent to rape, but rape does not occur.
Rape- a form of sexual assault in which vaginal, anal, or oral penetration occurs without consent.
Statutory Rape- a form of sexual assault in which vaginal, anal, or oral penetration occurs with a minor by an adult. In Texas, the age of consent is 17. Any person under 17 is not legally considered able to give consent, and therefore verbal consent from a minor is not considered to be legal consent.
Marital Rape- the act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the other spouse’s consent. You absolutely can be raped in a marriage.