PHOENIX — Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, according to the RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.
The term “sexual assault” means any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by federal, tribal, or state law, including when the victim lacks the capacity to consent, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to RAINN, if someone agrees to an activity under the pressure of intimidation or threat, that isn’t considered consent because it was not given freely. Unequal power dynamics, such as engaging in sexual activity with an employee or student, also mean that consent cannot be freely given, according to RAINN's website.
RAINN operates a 24/7 telephone hotline to assist survivors of sexual violence. Callers can get support from a trained specialist, talk through what happened, receive resources to help with healing and recovery, get referrals for long-term support, and hear about laws and resources in their community.
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
1 (800) 656-HOPE
The Arizona Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence also operates a helpline, including a text chat option. The helpline provides support, information, and referrals about sexual and domestic violence, assistance navigating the legal system as well as financial assistance. It is available 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
ACESDV Helpline Numbers
602-279-2980 | (800) 782-6400
SMS Text Line: (520) 720-3383
The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence also provides a county-by-county list of community resources.
The U.S. Department of Justice encourages victims to report sexual assault by members of law enforcement. Most officers uphold the law with integrity, but those who commit sexual misconduct during their employment take advantage of their authority, destroy community trust, and violate federal law, according to the DOJ.