What’s the Difference Between Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse?

Understanding Sex Crimes

While sexual abuse and sexual assault are both heinous sex crimes, these terms are often used interchangeably. To help spread awareness about sexual violence and assault, KMD Law explains what it means when a victim is sexually assaulted or sexually abused.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault can come in many different forms. It’s characterized by behaviors that happen without explicit consent from the victim. Some examples of sexual assault may include:

  • Attempted rape or rape (penetration of the victim’s body)
  • Fondling/unwanted sexual touching
  • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts

Sadly, victims of sexual violence often know their perpetrators. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 8 out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, such as an intimate partner or acquaintance.

What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is often associated with child victims. Child sexual abuse does not need to include physical, sexual contact between the abuser and the child. Some common forms of child sexual abuse are:

  • Exposing oneself to a minor
  • Obscene text messages, phone calls, or internet interaction
  • Sharing pornographic materials with a minor
  • Sex of any kind with a minor (vaginal, oral, or anal)
  • Fondling/inappropriate touching

While children are most at risk of sexual abuse, other groups such as the intellectually disabled or the elderly living in nursing homes may also be at risk.

Where Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse Survivors Can Get Help.

Sadly, even with more awareness made by the #MeToo movement, many sexual assault and abuse survivors are victim-blamed or not believed. We believe you, and the sexual violence and abuse you endured were not your fault. We understand that speaking out against your abuser is an emotionally painful experience.

There is power in speaking up and holding your perpetrator accountable for their criminal and heinous actions. When you need help, we are here to support you through a difficult time. At , we’ll be your advocate to protect your rights.

When faced with the challenges of pursuing a sexual assault and abuse claim, we are here to help you seek justice so you can move forward with your life.

Contact us today at (833) 456-3529 to learn your rights.