What is Sexual Violence?


Something to keep in mind before reading these is that every person's experience is different.  If you have experience which makes you feel uncomfortable but you do not feel it fits with any of these definitions, it does not make your experience any less real or less important.  For some people, finding a definition which they feel fits their experience can be an empowering experience.  For others it can be a negative experience. 

The following are general definitions.  If you think you experienced sexual violence and are looking for support click here.  Please be aware these are not the legal definitions in North Carolina.  For more information on legal definitions contact RISE


Sexual Assault

Sexual Abuse

Childhood Sexual Abuse

Sexual Violence is sex without consent!


Everyone goes through the healing process differently.  For more information on the effects of sexual violence and the healing process click here.

Myths and Facts

  • Myth: Rape is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of sexual gratification.

Fact: Rape is an act of premeditated violence, not of spontaneous passion.

  • Myth: Rape is sometimes caused by the way a person acts or dresses.

Fact: Rape is a crime of power, not sex. It is never the victim’s fault.

  • Myth: Rape is just a women’s issue.

Fact: Rape is a human issue, affecting all people.

  • Myth: Rape is always perpetrated by men against women.

Fact: While 90% of rapes are heterosexual and male-perpetrated, men and women can be raped by a perpetrator of any sex or gender.


If you think you or someone you know has experienced a form of sexual violence (or that you just want more information), please see the following for further information on resources and support services: