If in the past sex was considered a taboo topic to discuss in company, then sexual assault was even more so. As society has changed and evolved, we as people, have become more open to the discussion of these topics. There are many different forms of assault, including sexual assault. Many people have sexually assaulted someone else, but they don’t even realize they’ve done so.

*Note: I am going to attempt to keep gender out of my examples as much as is possible.

1. Verbal sexual assault

So, we know verbal assault is a real thing. People can be verbally abused and verbally abusive to others. But, many people don’t realize that verbal sexual assault exists. For example, you are walking down the street. The coffee shop around the corner is calling your name. You get into the building and into line and a person sitting off to the side whistles at you. “Nice ass.” they say condescendingly. That is verbal sexual assault.

2. Grabby hands

Now, we all have seen this person before. Maybe they got drunk. Maybe they just don’t care. Maybe you were dating. Either way, if someone touches you in a more personal area, that is sexual assault. I like to call it the “grabby hands syndrome” because it seems like the person thinks of it as a joke. It is not a joke to touch people without their consent.

For example, let’s say that person from the coffee shop was a bit more forward and had grabbed your ass instead of just talking to you about it. Now, the sexual assault has escalated even more. In this case, it is more recognizable, but many people see nothing wrong with something like this.

3. No means NO

When sexual assault hits its most dramatic point. Maybe the person has been attacked. Maybe they have been in a relationship where their partner doesn’t heed the word no. In my mind, no should mean no. If you don’t have consent, it’s sexual assault. If you don’t give consent, it’s rape. Simple as that.

To show this in my example, let’s say the person in the coffee shop didn’t stop. Let’s say they followed you out and took what wasn’t theirs to take. That is one of the most extreme forms of sexual assault.

Now, you may be asking what the point was. Why do we need examples of sexual assault? Because society has made sex a topic more open and talked about that some people don’t recognize when sexual assault has happened to them.

If you or someone you know feels you may have been sexually assaulted, please get help. Even a minor incident can cause psychological, sociological, and physical impacts in your life. Visit The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline to chat with a trained counselor and get the best care possible.