6 things that may not seem like sexual assault — but definitely are

There are many different formal, government-approved definitions of sexual assault. For example, the Department of Justice includes “forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape” as part of its sexual assault definition, and definitions vary slightly by state. But many of us, particularly women, experience daily microaggressions that are also sexual assault, but may not seem like it right off the bat.

In a world where sexual assault is often brushed under the rug and the rich and powerful get away with criminal behavior, it can be hard to name your traumas and recognize sexual assaults for the crimes they really are. But healing begins when survivors put names to their experiences, so in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we’ve outlined some things that may not initially seem like assault, but definitely are. If you ever feel like you’ve been violated and don’t know what to do, reach out to someone you can trust, whether it’s a friend, family member, or non profit organization. You’re not alone.

Here are six acts that can be considered sexual assault.

1Being kissed without your consent.