Sexual Assault Resources

Sexual Assault and Consent

Sexual Assault is an umbrella term that describes any type of sexual activity that lacks consent. This includes unwanted sexual touching (oral, vaginal or anal), rape, attempted rape, and sexual abuse. The majority of rapes are committed by someone known to the survivor as an acquaintance, friend or dating partner. It usually does not involve weapons or extreme physical force. Sexual assault can occur between people of the same or of any sex.

Consent is an active process of willingly choosing to participate in sex of any kind. It is an important element of a healthy relationship.  Learn more about sexual assault and consent from Health & Wellness and/or the UW Police Department Victim Advocate’s webpage.

Washington State crime definition

Explanation
Under Washington State criminal law, there is no crime of “sexual assault.” Instead, crimes are classified as “Sexual Offenses.”  Another classification is “Assault,” which also governs assault with a sexual motivation.  See RCW 70.125.030(7) – “Sexual assault.”

Following are the definitions of rape crimes under Washington State criminal law:

RCW 9A.44.040 – Rape in the first degree.

(1) A person is guilty of rape in the first degree when such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion where the perpetrator or an accessory:

(a) Uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon or what appears to be a deadly weapon; or
(b) Kidnaps the victim; or
(c) Inflicts serious physical injury, including but not limited to physical injury which renders the victim unconscious; or
(d) Feloniously enters into the building or vehicle where the victim is situated.

RCW 9A.44.050(1)(b) – Rape in the 2nd Degree

(1) A person is guilty of rape in the second degree when, under circumstances not constituting rape in the first degree, the person engages in sexual intercourse with another person:

(a) By forcible compulsion;
(b) When the victim is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated…

RCW 9A.44.060 – Rape in the third degree.

(1) A person is guilty of rape in the third degree when, under circumstances not constituting rape in the first or second degrees, such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person:

(a) Where the victim did not consent as defined in RCW 9A.44.010(7), to sexual intercourse with the perpetrator and such lack of consent was clearly expressed by the victim’s words or conduct, or
(b) Where there is threat of substantial unlawful harm to property rights of the victim.

9A.44.010(7) – Consent “Consent” means that at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact there are actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.

Other crimes include:

RCW 9A.44.100 – Indecent liberties [Paraphrase] A victim is incapable of giving consent when physically helpless or mentally incapacitated