What is the difference between sexual assault and rape?

Although these words are sometimes used interchangeably, sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact such as touching or molestation whereas rape is unwanted penetration (anally, orally, or vaginally). Regardless of the word used, this is a violent crime.

For more information on legal definitions, click here to view STSM’s Legal Advocacy page.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of a sexual assault, contact STSM at (803) 790-8208 or our 24 hour crisis hotline at (803) 771-7273.