What is sexual assault?
A person commits sexual assault if they intentionally touch another person, the touching is sexual and the person does not consent. It involves all unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature and ranges from pinching, embracing, groping and kissing, to rape and serious sexual assault.
Anyone can be sexually assaulted, regardless of gender or sexuality. It does not matter if you have previously consented to sexual acts with that person, or with others. Whatever the circumstances, nobody has the right to force you to have sex or touch you without your consent. If this happens to you, it’s important to remember it’s not your fault.
In the UK, rape is legally defined as the penetration with a penis of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person without their consent.
Penetration of another person's vagina, mouth or anus with any part of the body other than the penis or any object without their consent, is classed as serious sexual assault (or assault by penetration). It carries the same maximum criminal sentence as rape.