Sexual harassment and abuse: Definition and consequences

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Unfortunately, many people are victims of sexual harassment and abuse on the streets, in homes, places of study, etc. Sexual harassment and abuse are not minor acts and should not be minimized or go unpunished. It is vital to create awareness about how sexual violence affects both the physical and psychological health of the victims. Although these are not events that exclusively affect women, the majority of the victims tend to be women.

In the California Penal Code, there is the Sexual Assault Law, which defines what rape involves. Understanding that rape is sexual intercourse without consent, under no circumstances can the sexual offense be justified. If the person did not consent to sexual intercourse, the court would determine this as sexual abuse.

What situations are considered sexual abuse?

  • Having sex through physical force.
  • Having sex when they are not in their five senses or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Lying or threatening to have sex. “Sexual favors” are also considered rape.


It is essential to report this fact to obtain justice and create awareness and help other people not to experience the same situation. Additionally, through legal actions, victims can access any medical treatment related to sexual abuse, from physical to psychological damage. In this way, they can receive the support of a therapist to overcome this traumatic event. Also, if this act disables the victim from being able to work, the law will consider the lost income as damages related to the case and eligible for compensation.

Walking the streets, whether at night, in an unknown or lonely place, does not have to be a nightmare. It is everyone’s right to be free to walk down the street, go to parties, stay at home, or go somewhere without being harassed by strangers or even known people. It is also crucial to report any incident of harassment or violation in order to hold those responsible accountable and achieve justice.

At Lipeles, we are always available to victims of harassment or rape to help them with their cases.


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