Sexual Assault

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Sacred Heart Center Sexual Assault Advocates will help in any Sexual Assault situation such as  information, access to the courts, personal advocacy, information/referral services, criminal justice advocacy, medical advocacy and an explanation of potential options. Advocates also help clients feel welcome and assistance in dealing with social services, medical issues, and housing concerns. Advocates also help with the court process and may attend court with the victim and victim’s family for support.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault is a criminal act of power.

Sexual Assault includes incest, rape, acquaintance and date rape, marital rape, child sexual assault, exposure, sexual harassment and voyeurism.

Sexual Assault is everyone’s problem. It can happen to anyone, at any time, at any place.

Sexual Assault can happen to people of any age, sex, race, income level, sexual orientation or physical ability. The majority of sexual assault survivors are assaulted by someone they know.

Sexual Assault uses a threat of force, control, manipulation, violence, or sex as a weapon. It can be a physical or verbal act, which breaks a person’s security and trust.

Sexual Assault may include incest. Incest is a betrayal of trust involving sexual activity between people who are related or are perceived to be related. This may include abuse, intercourse, verbal seduction, objectification, sodomy, direct or implied threats or touching.

What is Sexual Abuse of a child?

Sexual Abuse may include sexual touching, indecent exposure, use of children in or showing them pornographic films or pictures, encouraging or forcing others to witness sexual acts or engage in prostitution.  Sex offenders can come from any social, racial, or religious background and may be well-respected members of a community.  Children are more likely to be sexually abused by someone they know, including relatives and family friends, than by a stranger.  Being abused by someone you trust is confusing, sad and scary, but help, healing and hope are possible.

South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) 26-8A-2

Who is subject to sexual abuse, sexual molestation, or sexual exploitation by the child’s parent, guardian, custodian, or any other person responsible for the child’s care.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Law

Chapter 2 § 2.01

The term sexual abuse includes employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist another person to engage in sexually explicit conduct or the rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children, consistent with the provision of Law & Order code Title III, Section 4F, Subsection 3-4-136 relating to offenses against children.