Acquaintance Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault by Someone You Know

Acquaintance assault involves coercive sexual activities that occur against a person's will by means of force, violence, intimidation, or fear of bodily injury. These sexual activities are imposed upon them by someone they know (a friend, date, teacher, coach, acquaintance, etc.).

A prior or current relationship or previous acts of intimacy are not sufficient indicators of consent.

Verbal consent must be obtained both in each instance of sexual intimacy and as the level of sexual intimacy increases (e.g., moving from kissing to intimate touching , from intimate touching to oral sex, from oral sex to intercourse or anal sex, etc.).

Like other forms of sexual assault, acquaintance assault is motivated by a need to control, to humiliate, and to harm. Perpetrators of acquaintance assault take advantage of the relationship they may have already established with their victims. As a result, victims may feel particularly vulnerable.

Because the perpetrators are known to their victims and are often someone with whom they socialize, victims of acquaintance sexual assault often have to encounter their assailants after the rape. Fear of such encounters can cause increased distress and humiliation for the victims. Obtaining a legal protection order may help to protect and safeguard victims against such incidents. Check out Sexual Assault Self Help Forms for more information.