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Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence

What is sexual assault?

According to Missouri law, sexual assault includes any form of non-consensual sexual contact, which involve “the genitals of one person and the hand, mouth, tongue or anus of another person or a sexual act involving penetration, however slight, of the penis, female genitalia, or the anus by a finger, instrument or object done for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person or the purpose of terrorizing the victim”  

The UMSL definition of sexual assault reflects the Missouri law.  Additional definitions which include sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and stalking can be found here.

How prevalent is sexual violence on college campuses?

Sexual Assault and consent has become a major concern on campuses due to the reports in the media.  Many wonder if there really is a problem on college campuses. 

Did you know

Only 2-8% of rapes are false reports, a rate that does not exceed the false reporting rates of other crimes.


What is consent?

Consent is an active, enthusiastic, ongoing agreement to engage in a sexual act or sexual contact.  In order for someone to give consent to sex, they must be able to fully and coherently agree to participate in the sexual act.  A verbal no, regardless of how indecisive or insincere it sounds, constitutes as a lack of consent.  Past consent to engage in sex does not imply that there is future, ongoing consent.  An intimate, committed relationship does not imply consent.  Lack of verbal or physical resistance, or submission by the unwilling participant, does not equal consent.  Any time the use of force, threats, or coercion are used consent cannot be given.  If fear is in the room, consent is not.

The following are examples of when consent CANNOT be given: