What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is the act of any sexual contact, behavior, or activity that occurs without the consent of the victim. 

Every 68 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. 1 of every 5 women, and 1 of every 33 men, in the U.S. has experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. In addition transgender persons, Native Americans, prisoners and members of the military also experience sexual assault at an even higher rate. Chances are you may know someone who has, or will, experience sexual assault in their lifetime. Sexual assault can happen through physical force, threats of force, or if the attacker gave the victim drugs or alcohol as a part of the assault. Sexual assault includes rape and sexual coercion.

What is Consent?

Consent is the act of communicating an agreement to engage in sexual contact or activity. Even after consenting, you can change your mind at any time.

In the State of Colorado the age of consent is 17 years old. Anyone under the age of 17 years old is leagally unable to consent; meaning that sexual contact or activity with anyone under the age of 17 is considered statutory rape. This does not include Colorado’s “Romeo and Juliet” law.

Did you know that your ability/capacity to consent is also important in regards to sexual content or activity?

Other things to keep in mind when considering consent:

  • Does the victim have a developmental disability or traumatic brain injury that would prevent them from legally consenting?
  • Was the victim intoxicated? Consent cannot be given by people who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • Did the victim have a physical disability? While disabled persons can consent, if their disability puts them in a helpless state where they cannot defend themselves or fight off their offender consent has not been given
  • Was the victim’s perpetrator a person of authority or a person of trust?
  • Was the victim unconscious? Unconscious people cannot consent
  • Is the victim considered a vunderable adult? Vunerable adults (elderly or ill persons) who rely on other people for care may not be able to consent

If you have been sexually assaulted it is important to remember it is not your fault, regardless of the circumstances. Hilltop’s Latimer House supports survivors of sexual assault with safety, trust, advocacy, and support.

Some of these supports includes an imminent risk assessment to determine eligibility into Latimer House’s short-term emergency safehouse, information on intimate partner violence support groups, referrals to outside agencies for mental health and substance use treatment, parenting support, legal support, assistance in creating a safety plan and more.

Information and Resources

Explore the links below for more resources from national and local entities. Please note that clicking any of the below links you will be directed straight to each resource website. In doing so we cannot guarantee that the information you access will not be traceable on the device you are on. The local resources listed are available in either Mesa County or Delta, Montrose, and Ouray counties.