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Sexual Assault, Survivors of

Over the years, sexual assault has been defined in an evolving number of ways, originally referring to nonconsensual explicit, overt physically sexual acts committed against a person. More recently, the definition of what constitutes sexual assault has expanded to include more than instances of rape. The definition now includes, but is not limited to, other physical threats (e.g., fondling, groping, penetration), verbal aggression (e.g., inappropriate statements, threats, coercion), and noncontact unwanted sexual experiences (e.g., forced photography, flashing, harassment). Therefore, survivors of sexual assault can include any person who has suffered a nonconsensual sexual experience, be it physical or verbal, contact or noncontact, at any point in their lives. This entry examines the construction of victims and survivors of sexual assault, the prevalence of sexual assault, ...

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