Identifying SExual Violence

Sexual Abuse

Sexual violence is any sexual contact or behavior that happens without your consent. Other names used for sexual violence – rape, sexual abuse and sexual assault.

As with domestic violence, sexual violence is about power and control, NOT sex or love. It includes rape, sexual child abuse, incest, fondling, attempted rape, human trafficking, sexual harassment, or any other type of unwanted sexual contact.

Some realities:

  • In most sexual assault cases, physical force is not used.
  • Most victims will not display outward, visible injuries.
  • Sexual abuse does occur in committed relationships and marriages.

Signs of sexual assault:

  • Unwanted touching.
  • Rape: actual or attempted unwanted vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by an object or body part.
  • Forcing or manipulating you into doing unwanted, painful or degrading acts during intercourse.
  • Taking advantage of you while you’re drunk or otherwise not likely to give consent.
  • Denying you contraception or protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Taking any kind of sexual pictures or film of you without your consent.
  • Forcing you to perform sexual acts on film or in person for money.
  • Threatening to break up with you if you refuse sex.

Our youngest victims who are sexually abused may not be able to voice what’s happening to them. Learn about what to look for and how you can help.

What is rape?

Rape is a crime of violence and domination in which one person forces, coerces, or manipulates another person to have sex.


Many types of rape can occur, but the most common types are date rape, date rape drugs or alcohol, and statutory rape.

Date rape is forced or coerced sex within a dating relationship. Acquaintance rape is committed by someone known to the victim. Nearly two-thirds of all victims ages 18 to 29 report a prior relationship with their attacker.

Date rape drugs or alcohol is quite commonly used on college campuses, although drugged rape is not limited to college campuses. Alcohol is the No. 1 drug used in sexual assaults, and on college campuses, alcohol is a factor in 90 percent of rapes.

Statutory rape is sexual intercourse between a person who is under the age of 16 and a person who is 3 or more years older, with or without consent. In Connecticut, anyone younger than 16 cannot legally consent to sex.

If you are a victim, you are not alone!
And, it is never the victim’s fault.


Victims need to know that they are not alone. Statistics show that an American is sexually assaulted almost every minute. Sexual violence can happen to anyone, adults and children of all ages, races, gender, sexual identity, religion and economic classes. Sexual assault victims often feel isolated or ashamed and often do not report an attack.


of victims know the person who sexually assaulted them.

1 in 3

transgender and gender non-conforming people experience violence.

by age 18

1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually assaulted.

5 Min

A rape or attempted rape occurs every 5 minutes in the United States.

1 in 6*

men will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

*sexual assault of men is thought to be greatly underreported.

Have you been sexually assaulted? If so, please call The Center for Family Justice’s hotline now, 203-333-2233.


We provide trauma-informed crisis intervention, emergency counseling and accompaniment to area hospitals to advocate for your needs to ensure you are treated with respect and dignity at all times.

If you wish, we can accompany you to the police station to walk with you through the legal processes. We believe you and we are here for you!

We provide individual counseling to provide tools to assist your healing process.

We will be there for emotional support that will empower you throughout this process.

You will be able to access support groups that create an expanded support system empowering you to heal others as well as yourself. You are not alone.

Advocacy services can assist you in navigating the multiple systems of care available.