Rape and sexual assault both mean sexual contact that a
woman does not want. Rape is any time a man puts his penis,
finger, or any object into a woman’s vagina, anus, or mouth
without her consent.
Rape is sometimes called sexual ‘assault’ because it is an act
of violence, using sex as a weapon. Sexual assault can include
rape as well as other kinds of unwanted sexual attention.
Some people think that forced sex is rape only if the man
beats up a woman or leaves her unconscious. They think she
must try hard to get away and risk being killed rather than be
raped. But even if a woman does not fight back, it is still rape.
No matter what she decides to do, if it was not her choice, it
was rape, and it is never her fault.
➤ Rape is sexual
violence. Women are
not to blame for it.
➤ As with other kinds
of violence, the goal
of the rapist is to
gain power over and
control his victim. For
more information, see
Any woman can be raped, but there is an even greater risk if she:
• has a disability—if she is in a wheelchair, deaf, blind, or mentally slow.
• is a refugee, migrant, or displaced person, or is living in an area of conflict or war.
• lives on the streets or is homeless.
• is a sex worker (prostitute).
• has been arrested or in prison.
• is being abused by her husband or boyfriend.
A rapist may see these women as easy victims because they have lost the
protection of a community.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012