There are many acts that may be considered as nothing but in them have the weight of an offense. While you may not take it as anything, the perpetrator will be encouraged by your inaction to continue in that act, this inaction would lead to grave acts that harm you and leave an emotional scar on you.
The perpetrator may not mean any harm but might take your nonchalance as a sign to continue. These acts might be innocent and constitute the bulk of what is known as Sexual offenses. These acts can be careless statements or acts of a sexual nature and done without consent from both sides.
- the perpetrator touches another person (the victim) in a sexual way
- the perpetrator causes the victim to touch the perpetrator in a sexual way
- the perpetrator causes the victim to touch another person in a sexual way
- the perpetrator otherwise indecently assaults the victim
- the perpetrator making comments or jokes about them having sex with the victim
- Staring at the breast, buttock, or your genital region
Stop these acts when they start so that they do not graduate to another level.
Who can be a perpetrator?
- Fellow students
- Religious leaders
- A romantic partner
- The stranger on the bus or at the shopping mall
What you can do to stop
- Confront the perpetrator
- Walk away
- Report to a trusted person
- Report to the police
In the case that the perpetrator has a sexual intent while doing those acts, not confronting the situation when they start would be interpreted by them as consent. Other offenses would come out from there such as
- Sexual assault: a term including all sexual offenses.
- Rape: insertion of a bodily organ or an object into the sex organ of a woman without her consent.
- Sodomy: insertion of a bodily organ or an object into a person’s anus or mouth without their consent.
- Attempted rape: attempted insertion of a bodily organ or an object into the sex organ of a woman without her consent.
- Gang rape: rape carried out by more than one attacker.
- Serial rape: repeated incidents of rape carried out by the same attacker over an extended period of time.
- Incest: sexual abuse or assault at the hands of a family member.
Let us talk about some other sexual offenses
Sexual grooming: is defined as gaining the trust of a child through an emotional connection in order to sexually abuse, exploit, or traffic them. Any communication with a child for the purpose of sexually abusing them is legally considered to be grooming. A child is a person under 18 years of age. Therefore, has not reached the legal age of consent.
Voyeurism: this is the sexual pleasure gotten from watching people when they are naked or having sex without their consent. Usually, this act is committed from a hidden spot. A person who commits this act is called a voyeur. Voyeurism is therefore committed if:
- For sexual gratification the accused observes the complainant doing a private act without the complainant’s express consent to being observed for that purpose; or
- The accused installs and/or operates equipment, or builds a total or part of a structure in order to allow himself/herself or another person to commit this offense.
Incest: this is sexual activity with a child family member by
- an adult family member
- a family member including relatives of the whole or half-blood, persons with whom you had a previous common-law relationship where the accused would have cared for, trained, or supervised the complainant, step-parents (whether through legal or common law marriage), stepbrothers or sisters and foster parents.
Let us define consent
Consent means words or outward actions by a person who is competent to give consent i.e. a person who understands what it means to do so and does so freely. Consent and belief in consent cannot be assumed because the victim remained silent, did not resist or became sexually aroused, or may have attained orgasm or ejaculation. Where consent is an issue, it is a defense for the accused to say that she or he had a reasonable belief that the victim was consenting to sexual activity; but this would not apply where there is self-induced intoxication or recklessness or willful blindness or disregard about whether the victim is consenting.