Power and control

A misconception about sexual assault is that it happens because a person is really aroused, lonely, or because they can’t get sexual activity any other way. The truth is that sexual assault is not about craving sexual activity.

All forms of sexual violence are about getting power and feeling a sense of dominance over someone.  For example, in sexual harassment, making someone uncomfortable or afraid with unwanted sexual comments or gestures is the method of gaining power.  In sexual assault, perpetrators use forced sexual activity as a way to gain this power.

The violence is purposeful and deliberate. It’s the feeling of violating a person’s boundaries, and of not having consent that perpetrators are looking for.

This concept is so important to understand because it’s the very root of why sexual assault happens.