Legal definitions of sexual assault focus only on rape and sexual assault. Rape - Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means penetration by the offender(s). Includes attempted rapes, male as well as female victims, and both heterosexual and homosexual rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape. Sexual assault - A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape. These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender. Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling. It also includes verbal threats.
INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence identifies “violence against women of color” as a combination of “violence directed at communities,” such as police violence, war, and colonialism, and “violence within communities,” such as rape and domestic violence.
Here at In Community and In Resistance, we define sexual violence as any form of physical, verbal, or emotional trauma that targets womyn of color (including trans, intersex, and disabled persons) because of our gender expression, sexual orientation, and racial identity. Admittedly, this is a general definition, in part because, we seek to affirm all forms and experiences of sexual violence, believing that only the surveyor truly has the power and ability to define for hirself what they’ve experienced.