Categorized | Editorial

What is a Sexual Assault?

Posted on 24 October 2012 by admin

After Toronto Police caught a 15-year-old perpetrator behind sexual assaults in Bloor and Christie area ofToronto, a woman was murdered in aTorontoalley on Tuesday morning.

After the news of sexual assaults broke, women wondered what sexual assault really refers to. Does it include groping, touching women, massaging their breasts in public, or something more serious like rape. The point is not to discount any other disgusting thing that men may do to women, but the idea is to beware women of more serious criminals out there.

We talked to a woman who was groped in public when she was strolling with her aunt. The man came at her from behind, rubbed her breasts from behind, aggressively, stroked her buttocks and ran in a matter of few seconds. At first the aunt didn’t even realize what was happening. By the time the aunt figured what was going on, and screamed, the alleged criminal was running back and all the aunt and the niece could see was his back, running in the opposite direction.

One has to note here that this woman, who is now 29, was only 13 at the time. She remembers the incident very well, from the time of the day to the kind of a dress she was wearing.

The incident was so shocking and embarrassing for both the women that none of them discussed the incident ever again. They also never told anyone at home that a guy had sexually assaulted a 13-year-old. Going to the police with a complaint is a far cry. The psychological implications of the attack in this case are clear, although she wasn’t raped or dragged into a dark, dingy alley. The point is that while rape is an extreme form of sexual assault, groping etc can be as bad as rape for some women.

Many many women, out of shame, do not share such incidents with anyone, not even with close friends or family members.

Given this fact, using an umbrella term of “sexual assault” is not only appropriate, it also creates fear in the minds of those who fantasize about attacking women. Additionally, suggesting thank God! it wasn’t a rape – and just groping – may lead the person to escalate to more serious nature of sexual assaults and even murder.

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