What Is Sexual Assault?

September 25, 2018
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The Truth Of This Term

In the last few years, we’ve heard this term often, and applied to various situations, but what is the definition of “sexual assault“?

Court of Law v. Court of Public Opinion

Why It Matters

“The term ‘sexual assault’ means any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.”


U.S. Justice Department on what constitutes sexual assault under federal law. The definitions of sexual assault and sexual misconduct vary by state.

Let’s Clear This Up:

  • Prof. Christine Ford has accused Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh nominee of sexual assault.
  • Despite her allegations, she has not filed a criminal complaint.
  • The Senate Judiciary cmte is NOT a court of law & they will not decide if a sexual assault happened. Instead, they vote on whether Kavanaugh should be considered for SCOTUS.

Some in the media have chosen to use the umbrella term “sexual misconduct” to refer to the accusations against Kavanaugh; misconduct includes, but is not limited to assault. Thank you to our SmartHER reader who asked for the definition. Keep the questions coming. We are here to help! Info@SmartHERnews.com

by Jenna Lee,

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