You have heard the term “rape” many times and you’ve probably heard of “sexual assault,” but you may be confused about the two terms and what makes them different. While sexual assault is defined under the Texas Penal Code, it’s essentially a broad term that refers to sexual violence or unwanted, non-consensual sexual activity. So, rape would fall under the category of “sexual assault.”
Sexual assault can range from a subtle gesture, such as slightly touching a woman’s breast or buttocks to a violent rape that involved a brutal beating. “Sexual assault can include but is not limited to, rape, sexual threats and intimidation, incest, sexual assault by intimate partners, child sexual abuse, human sexual trafficking, sexual harassment, street harassment and other forms of unwelcome, coerced or non-consensual activity.
“The terms sexual abuse are also often used to describe the wide range of activities that constitute sexual assault,” according to the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA).
What is Rape Culture?
Have you heard about “rape culture”? It refers to this complicated set of beliefs that encourages males to be sexually aggressive and it supports men being violent against women. According to the TAASA, rape culture occurs in societies that believe violence to be “sexy” and as sexuality as violent.
In a rape culture, physical and emotional terrorism against women is considered normal and the men and women in such cultures see sexual violence as a fact of life, and inescapable as death and taxes. Such sexual violence, however, is not condoned in the United States, which is why each state has enacted sexual assault or abuse statutes. In Texas, sexual assault can be found under Section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code.
Sexual Assault Statistics in Texas (Source TAASA):
- 6.3 million people in Texas have experienced sexual assault in their life
- Of all women in Texas, 2 out of 5 of them have been sexually assaulted
- Of all men in Texas, 1 in 5 have been a victim of sexual assault
- Most sexual assaults are never reported – 91% of sexual assaults have not been reported to law enforcement
- 90% of children who are sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone they know
- More than 94% of rapists are free and only 3% being jailed for their crimes
If you have been sexually assaulted, there is a possibility that you can file a personal injury claim for compensation, even if the perpetrator is facing criminal charges or has not been caught by the police. This is because the property owner or lessee where the sexual assault occurred may be legally liable. To learn more, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC.