Sexual Assault and Rape

Sexual assault affects many lives—both directly and indirectly. It is a crime that spans age, sexual orientation, religion and gender, and affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. It is estimated that one in five women and one in 71 men are raped in their lifetimes in the United States. Together, that's more than 23.6 million survivors.

While precise legal definitions vary by states and jurisdictions, rape is the term commonly used to mean forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal or oral penetration. Throughout this section, we use the terms sexual assault or sexual violence to refer to any to unwanted sexual act against or without a person’s consent—any sexual, physical verbal or visual, act that forces a person against their will to have unwanted sexual contact or attention.

No matter what the circumstances of the crime are, sexual violence is a weapon used by perpetrators to hurt and dominate others—motivated by a need to control, humiliate and harm. It is never a survivor's fault. 

At Joyful Heart, we understand how difficult the pain of these experiences can be, and we honor the strength, courage and time it takes to survive and heal. It is our sincerest hope and intention that the information and resources in this section—and throughout the rest of this site—can help along that journey.

In this section, you can find more information on the following topics related to sexual assault and rape:

Click on any of these links to learn more.

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