Sexual assault is an unfortunately common crime, yet many people are afraid to talk about it. Sex-related crimes occur in a variety of situations and environments, and are not always the result of a serial predator. In fact, most sex-related crimes occur between two people who know each other on some level.
It is incredibly important that women are aware of the realities of sexual assault, how common it really occurs, and what they can do if they have become a victim of a sex-related crime. At The Embry Law Firm, our Douglasville sexual assault lawyer is passionate about helping victims of sex crimes protect their legal rights and get the justice they deserve.
Georgia Sexual Assault Laws
The first step in understanding what constitutes a sex-related crime is understanding what the law says. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between poorly-executed flirtation and sexual harassment or assault. That is where the law comes in handy. Here is what Georgia law has to say about sexual assault.
Under Georgia law, sexual assault encompasses a variety of actions or situations. More generally, the law states that “any unconsented activity, with or without force” is prohibited. More specifically, the law addresses sexual assault as the following:
- Sexual Assault (O.C.G.A. 16-6-1): Sexual assault is defined as any sexual contact that “is perpetrated by a person who has supervisory or disciplinary authority over another individual”. This includes any bodily contact between two people who are not married to one another. Individuals who have disciplinary authority over someone else includes:
- A teacher, principal, or school administrator
- A parole or probation officer
- A law enforcement officer in charge of someone in custody
- A law enforcement officer in charge of juveniles or disabled persons
- A healthcare provider in charge of patients in a healthcare setting
- Psychotherapists in charge of patients
- Sexual Battery (O.C.G.A. 16-6-3): Sexual battery occurs when one person intentionally makes physical contact with someone else’s “intimate parts”, i.e. the genitals, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breasts.
- Aggravated Sexual Battery (O.C.G.A. 16-6-22.2): Aggravated sexual battery is defined as the intentional penetration of a “sexual organ or anus” with a foreign object without the other person’s consent. The definition of a foreign object is “any article or instrument other than the sexual organ of a person”.
These are the basic laws related to sexual assault. There are variables within each of these depending on the age of the perpetrator and victim, their relationship, where the assault took place, and whether any other criminal acts were taking place at the time of the assault.
Sexual Assault Statistics
Sexual assault is a tremendous problem in the United States. Many of these crimes occur as a result of workplace harassment, lack of security, lack of awareness, and the fact that sex-related crimes are largely unreported. Statistics related to sexual assault are disheartening. General statistics include the following:
- One out of every four women will experience sexual violence at some point.
- Around 84 percent of all sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.
- More than 50 percent of all rapes occur while on a “date”.
- One out of every three high school relationships include rape or battery.
- Rape is the most underreported crime in the U.S.
- The U.S. has the highest rate of sexual assault among all industrialized nations.
Georgia Sexual Assault Statistics
Each year, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) compiles what is called the Uniform Crime Report. This report, or index, tracks the number of certain crimes that were reported within that year. For 2017, the GBI reported the following related to sexual assault and sex-related crimes:
- There were 2,684 rapes reported
- Rape crimes accounted for .82 percent of all crimes reported.
- The rate of rape crimes (based on reporting) was listed at 25.7 per 100,000 residents.
- There were 433 cases of sexual abuse reported
Remember, even though these numbers are significant, they represent only a fraction of the number of sexual assaults that occur each year. Sex-related crimes are underreported primarily because victims feel that they will not be believed, that they will be shamed, or that they will be judged. Our society needs to break this pattern in order to protect those that would be victimized by sexual predators.
What to Do After a Sexual Assault
If you have experienced sexual assault or another sex-related crime, it is important to contact a Douglasville sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible. Yes, you should contact authorities and initiate a criminal investigation, but you should also ensure that your legal rights are protected. At The Embry Law Firm, we represent clients who have suffered from horrifying sexual assaults. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and exploring your legal options. To find out what options you may have, call our office at 844-443-6279 to schedule a free consultation.