Knowing About the Laws Regarding Sexual Assault and Abuse

There are a number of forms of sexual assault and abuse. From the moment when a client reveals about his or her victimization at the hands of an offender, the concerned authorities need to have a better understanding of what exactly happened to the victim. The situation must be analyzed carefully, taking into account all the relevant details, so that it could be decided whether the crime should be considered a sexual assault or sexual abuse. This information would help the authorities to better understand and assist the victim, as well as identify the condition that would initiate their legal obligation and responsibilities.

The objectives for such a case should be explained to the victim clearly, which include the following

  • Help the victim describe the sex offender with all the relevant details
  • Brief the victim on how the sex offense should be filed
  • Make the victim understand the state’s limitations on sex offense
  • Assist the victim on how to file the report.

Learning About the Difference between Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse

In order to determine the severity of the offense, it is important to know what the offense is or how to categorize it. Laws in Virginia are very precise and specific according to each offense. Sexual offenses are illegal and are called sex crimes. The main element of these sex crimes is the lack of consent for the sexual activity. These crimes involve sexual penetration which includes, oral, anal or vaginal. Whereas, sexual abuse is the intentional intimidation, leading to touching of private body parts with a sexual intention.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is when a person subjects the other person for a sexual contact without his or her permission. This lack of consent can then lead to threat, intimidation or physical force. There are different levels and degree of sexual abuse, which includes forcible compulsion where the victim is physically helpless, sexual contact with a person who is mentally unstable or incapacitated, and sexual contact with a victim who is under the age of 16, without his or her willingness.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is the sexual intrusion or intercourse where the offender inflicts serious bodily injury, while the victim is younger than twelve years old and is not married to that person and the perpetrator is over the age of 14. Another degree of sexual assault is when the victim is forcibly subjected to sexual intercourse without his/her lack of consent.

If a person touches another person’s intimate parts or forces someone for a sexual encounter then it would be a Class 1 misdemeanor and may result in a jail time for a time period of one year. It can also be a fine of $2500.