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Sexual Assault FAQs -- Question 2

Q: What is sexual assault?

A: Sexual Assault is a crime. Sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, nonconsensual sodomy (oral or anal sex), indecent assault (unwanted, inappropriate sexual contact or fondling), or attempts to commit these acts. Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender or spousal relationship or age of victim.

"Consent" shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the victim to offer physical resistance. Consent is not given when a person uses force, threat of force, coercion or when the victim is asleep, incapacitated, or unconscious.

Sexual assault is criminal conduct that falls well short of the standards America expects of its men and women in uniform and is a violation of our Air Force core values. Inherent in these core values of Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do is the concept of respect. This ideal of respect extends to self-respect, respect for others, and respect for our Air Force as an institution. Sexual assault is in direct contravention of the ideal of respect. Just as importantly, sexual assault is in direct violation of the Air Force's Wingman culture.
Other sex-related offenses are defined as all other sexual acts or acts in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that do not meet the above definition of sexual assault, or the definition of sexual harassment as promulgated in DoD Directive 1350.2, Department of Defense Military Equal Opportunity. Examples of other sex-related offenses could include indecent acts with another and adultery.

For the specific articles of sexual assault offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), see the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM).