Teen Sexual Assault: Information for Teens

As a teen you make important decisions about what—if any—sexual activity is right for you. Agreeing to sexual activity with someone (saying “yes”, or giving “consent”) means that you have freely decided to engage in that activity. If you are pressured emotionally or physically, if you go along because you don’t feel you have a choice or because you don’t know how to get out of the situation (“coercion”), you are not giving consent. Any sexual contact that you do not consent to is sexual assault. You have the right to say “no” if you do not want to do something sexual. We use the term “sexual assault” when the person who committed the assault —the perpetrator—is someone outside the family, and the term “sexual abuse” when the perpetrator is a family member. Sexual assault does not always include intercourse. Sexual assault can include any contact with private body parts (e.g., breasts, genitals, buttocks) that you don’t want, don’t agree to, or are forced to do.