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Comprehensive sexual assault definitions for Chicago residents

Do you know what sexual assault really is? Believe it or not, some people who have suffered through assault are concerned that their experience might not fit the criteria. If in doubt, you should probably reach out. If you are spending time worrying or wondering about the issue, chances are likely you have suffered assault.

In the interests of helping our readers better identify sex crimes, we would like to share the insight on sexual assault provided by the Loyola University Chicago website. The university first offers the Illinois Criminal Code definitions, which are paraphrased below.

-- Penetration by force or threat-- Penetration without consent, including non-consent due to incapacitation-- Penetration by a family member of a person younger than 18 years-- Penetration of a person between 13 and 17 years of age.

Loyola also provides its own definition of sexual assault in its student conduct of code. This definition will also help non-students identify inappropriate and often illegal sexual conduct. Along with the university's broad definition which states that sexual assault is "any unwelcome sexual advance that injures or threatens to injure another person, including, but not limited to, rape," the following is also defined as sexual assault and/or abuse.

-- Actual or attempted intercourse-- Threatening sexual language-- Exhibitionism-- Any non-consensual sexual activity, including non-consent due to incapacitation

If you or someone you know has gone through an experience and wonders if this might be a case of sexual assault, please contact a trusted authority figure right away. If doubt still lingers, take comfort from the knowledge that Chicago offers many attorneys with knowledge about sexual assault laws in Illinois and they can provide supportive and discreet assistance.

Source: Loyola University Chicago, "Sexual Assault" Sep. 09, 2014

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