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.

 

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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.

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May 25th, 2016 – Balsam Range holds REACH benefit concert June 8

Article courtesy The Mountaineer.   The historic Colonial Theater in Canton will come alive with the music of America’s leading bluegrass band, Balsam Range, in […]

April 13th, 2016 – REACH sponsors free movie screenings in April

Article also available at The Mountaineer.   April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the Haywood Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Task force is sponsoring three free […]

August 3rd, 2016 – Local Columnist Highlights REACH

Thanks to local columnist Paul Viau for taking the time to come in and learn about our organization. Read his article below, also available at […]

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 […]

March 1st, 2016 – Jim Janke receives REACH’s Outstanding Volunteer Award

 Article also available at The Mountaineer.   Friends of REACH, the volunteer organization of REACH of Haywood County, Inc., has awarded its Outstanding Volunteer Award […]

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 […]

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