What is Sexual Abuse?

sexual assault

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a crime of power and control. It includes any sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim, and encompasses all violent acts that are sexual in nature. It includes forced behavior such as unwanted exposure of sexual organs, and non-consensual kissing, fondling, vaginal intercourse, anal sex, oral sex, or sexual touching with objects.

Perpetrators may use not only physical force, but also emotional manipulation, psychological pressure, threats, guilt, or intimidation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Stranger rape is one form of assault, but approximately 4 out of 5 sexual assaults are by someone known to the victim. Survivors often feel guilt after an assault, but it’s important to remember that the victim is never to blame for the actions of a perpetrator.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any deliberate or repeated sexual behavior that is unwelcome to its recipient, as well as other sex-related behaviors that are hostile, offensive, or degrading. These can include unwanted sexual advances, request for sexual favors, persistent sexual notes, text messages, or emails, constant innuendos, inappropriate discussion of the victim’s or harasser’s body parts,  invasion of personal space, etc.


Anyone can become a target of sexual assault or harassment, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexuality, or economic status. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, REACH is here to help. We can provide legal advocacy, counseling, and support, so contact us today.

 

Other Resources

Support REACH

REACH of Haywood County, Inc. serves survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through advocacy, community outreach and prevention education to empower individuals to live a self-sufficient life free of violence.

LEARN MORE

How Can We Help You?

How can we contact you?




April 20, 2015 – Denim Day for sexual assault awareness is April 29

(article courtesy of The Mountaineer newspaper) Members of the Haywood County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task Force, including Haywood Community College, are urging all community members, […]

REACH to hold volunteer training January 23rd

REACH of Haywood is seeking volunteers to assist with the our Helpline phone services, and to participate in other ways through Friends of REACH committees. […]

October 20, 2015 – Local Quilters Provide Comfort to Survivors

by Anna Denson In the last year alone, REACH of Haywood County, Inc. has provided emergency shelter to 84 people – 32 of whom were […]

cycle-of-violence

Cycle of Violence

The “Cycle of Violence” can happen hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. Each stage lasts a different amount of time. The total cycle can […]

January 6, 2016 – REACH thanks community for holiday donations

By Anna Denson As the new year dawns and the holidays draw to a close, REACH of Haywood would like to thank everyone who contributed […]

May 10th, 2016 – Friends of REACH recognize volunteer Gretchen Tope

Article also available at The Mountaineer. The Friends of REACH recognized Gretchen Tope, a long-time volunteer with the REACH of Haywood Helpline, in a ceremony […]

September 10, 2015 – Spotlight on the new REACH website

by Anna Denson Article also appears in The Mountaineer. Check It Out: REACH of Haywood Tackles the Information Age with New Website Recently, it’s been […]

How to Help a Friend Who is Being Abused

by Anna Denson Article also appears in The Mountaineer. Domestic violence. Dating violence. Sexual assault. They are uncomfortable topics, to say the least. Often, we […]

Recovery is Possible for Everyone

By Marie Romeo, Meridian Behavioral Health Services, with the Haywood County Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Task Force   Six months ago, when Anthony (not […]

December 16, 2015 – REACH Prepares to Celebrate at the 2015 Holiday Gala

By Anna Denson Article also available at The Mountaineer REACH employees and volunteers are all in good cheer as they get ready for the black […]