Sexual Assault as Part of Dating Violence

Often teen abusers will use some form of sexual abuse as a tactic to get or keep power and control over his dating partner. Some survivors have described it this way: "I didn't want to have sex with him, but I was afraid because of ways he'd hurt me before. I didn't want that to happen again so I just said 'yes' whenever he wanted to have sex."

There are many forms of sexual abuse or assault, but at its basic, sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent or through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation or coercion. A few examples of those forms may include:

  • physically forcing a sexual act on another person.
  • making a sexual partner feel guilty for not having sex until she "gives in."
  • continually begging for sexual interaction or wearing the person down until she agrees through coercion
  • forcing a partner to "make love" after a physical assault
  • making a partner perform a sex act that she does not want to do

Sexual assault is against the law, even if the person who forced the sexual contact is a dating partner.