What is Sexual Assault?

What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault can be defined as any type of sexual activity that is not agreed to and is unwanted, including:
  • inappropriate touching
  • rape, which includes vaginal, anal, or oral penetration
  • attempted rape
  • engaging in any type of sexual activity (physical, verbal or visual) with a child, even if the child says “yes” at the time
  • sexual contact while someone is incapacitated due to alcohol or other drugs
There are several crimes that 1 or more of these behaviors may fit under.Some non-physical sexual behavior may also be considered assault or harassment. Examples of this are voyeurism (when someone watches private sexual acts), exhibitionism (when someone exposes him/herself in public), and verbal sexual harassment.  Here is some valuable information regarding the reporting of a sexual assault to the police.
Did you know?
  • The vast majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone that the victim/survivor knows.
  • Sexual assault can happen in different situations, in an isolated place, on a date, or in the home. Sexual assault can happen during the day or the night.
  • 1 out of every 3 women and 1 out of 7 men will be the victim of sexual assault during her/his lifetime. Sexual assault happens to people of all genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, and ages.(Reported by the National Victim Center, Washington D.C., 1992 and supported by recent studies).
Reporting Assaults
The Amherst Police Department strives to offer the best police and social services to survivors of sexual assaults.We can help.The Amherst Police Department has access to sexual assault investigators, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.If you'd like to speak to an investigator, please either call the Amherst Police Department at 413-259-3000 or come to the station, 111 Main Street, Amherst, MA.