The distinction between rape and sexual assault is only important for legal reasons. The impact on the victim is quite often no different. Even verbal harassment with no touching of any kind can lead to PTSD, insomnia, depression and a host of other physical and mental health issues.

Trying to distinguish between these two things is one of the ways that backlashers have tried to minimize the #MeToo movement — “It’s not rape, and talking about sexual assault and harassment is a distraction from “real” victims.”

Biden sniffing hair is not sexual assault but it is assault of the assault and battery kind, and is still illegal, although unlikely to be prosecuted.

Definition. 1. In criminal law, this is a physical act that results in harmful or offensive contact with another person without that person’s consent. 2. In tort law, the intentional causation of harmful or offensive contact with another’s person without that person’s consent.

Rape involves penetration, but there are plenty of ways to violate and traumatize someone that don’t involve penetration.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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