Sexual assault can happen to anyone. Victims can be any gender and age. It’s a devastating situation that often leaves the victim and their loved ones not knowing what to do. If you are confused, read below to learn more about what is considered sexual assault in South Carolina and who to call for help.
What Is Sexual Assault?
According to the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVSA), sexual assault is non-consensual sexual contact that is forced or coerced. There are many different actions that can be considered sexual assault, including:
- Attempted Rape
- Forced Kissing
- Sexual Harassment and Threats
- Sexual Battery
- Sexual Conduct in the First Degree (S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-652)
- Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree (S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-653)
- Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree (S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-654)
- Sexual Battery with a Student (S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-755)
- Spousal Sexual Battery (S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-615)
- Child Molestation, or Child Abuse and Neglect (S.C. Code Ann. §63-7-20)
- Statutory Rape, or Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor (S.C. Code Ann. §16-3-655)
The criminals who harm others through sexual assault are seeking power and control.
What Is Consent?
When someone commits sexual assault, they lack consent to engage in sexual contact with the victim. Consent is an agreement between the people who engage in sexual activity. There should be clear communication every time people are intimate. Consent may be given or withdrawn at any time, and that should be respected. If it is not, the offender is guilty of sexual assault.
If a person does not have consent to touch another person intimately, and they do so anyway, they are forcing themselves onto the victim. Force is not always physical in nature. It may involve emotional bullying, psychological force, or manipulation. Some sexual assault offenders use threats that they will harm the victim or their family to intimidate the victim into sexual acts.
Sexual Assault Statistics in South Carolina
More than 5,500 people seek help from the Rape Crisis Center in South Carolina annually, according to SCCADVSA. Nearly one in five women report being raped during their lifetime. While only one in 71 men report being raped, that number is likely much lower than the actual occurrence. Men are typically underrepresented in sexual assault statistics because of lower reporting rates.
Additionally, nearly 46% of women in South Carolina report being the victims of sexual violent or coercion other than rape. Nearly 18% of all men in the state report the same.
Who Should I Call If I Was Sexually Assaulted?
If you are the victim of a sexual assault, you should immediately call the police. Get medical treatment and discuss your situation with the authorities. Then, you should contact a sexual assault lawyer who can help you decide what to do next.
The compassionate lawyers at Ryan Montgomery Law know that it is difficult to share your story. You can trust us to be by your side throughout the legal process. We will help you decide how to handle a criminal trial and even proceed with a civil lawsuit, if possible. Through a civil lawsuit for sexual assault, you may be able to get financial compensation to help you recover and find a sense of justice.
Call Ryan Montgomery Law today at (864) 207-4927 or use our online contact form.