What is Sexual Assault?  Sexual assault is any type of contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.  Sexual assault is an umbrella term describing any form of unwanted physical sexual contact including touching of the breasts, buttocks, vagina, penis or anus in which consent is not given.   This term includes rape.


What is Rape? Though rape has varying definitions based upon state statutes, a general definition defines rape as sexual penetration without consent, including both psychological coercion and physical force of the vagina, anus and mouth by any object, finger or penis.  Both males and females can be raped and perpetrate rape.


Under North Carolina law, however, the term rape only refers to penile penetration of the vagina. All other forms of unwanted penetration (as described above) are referred to as sexual offenses.


What is consent?  How do I know if I have it? Consent is explicit approval to engage in sexual activity demonstrated by clear actions or words. This decision must be made freely and actively by all participants. Non‐verbal communication (i.e. pushing someone away or moving your body away from someone), silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance does not imply consent. In addition, previous participation in sexual activity does not indicate current consent to participate and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.


Consent has not been obtained in situations where the individual:


  • Is forced, pressured, manipulated, or has reasonable fear that they will be injured if they do not submit to the act.


  • Is incapable of giving consent or is prevented from resisting due to physical or mental incapacity, which includes, but is not limited to, the influence of drugs or alcohol.  *This includes drugs such as GHB, Rohypnol and Ketamine that are often used to facilitate sexual assault and rape. 


  • Has a mental or physical disability which inhibits his/her ability to give consent Sexual Misconduct