Was I Raped?
If you believe that you have been raped or sexually assaulted please call the
Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living
Local Hotline 1.907.452.2293
to discuss options for care and support. If you'd like to report the attack to police, call 911.
There are three main considerations determining whether or not a sexual act is consensual or is a crime.
"Consensual" means that:
both people are old enough to consent,
have the capacity to consent,
and agreed to the sexual contact.
Are the participants old enough to consent?
Each state sets an "age of consent" which is the minimum age someone must be to have sex. People below this age are considered children and cannot legally agree to have sex. In other words, even if the child or teenager says yes, the law says no.
In most states, the age of consent is 16 or 18. In some states, the age of consent varies according to the age difference between the participants. Generally, "I thought she was 18" is not considered a legal excuse — it's up to you to make sure your partner is old enough to legally take part.
In Alaska the legal age of consent is 16 provided the older party is not in a position of authority.
Did both participants have the capacity to consent?
States also define who has the mental and legal capacity to consent.
Those with diminished capacity — for example, some people with disabilities, some elderly people and people who have been drugged or are unconscious — may not have the legal ability to agree to have sex.
These categories and definitions vary widely by state, so it is important to call us and find out more about the laws in our state.
Did all participants agree to take part?
Did someone use physical force to make you have sexual contact with him/her? Has someone threatened you to make you have intercourse with them? If so, it is rape.
It doesn't matter if your partner thinks you meant yes, or if you've already started having sex — "No" also means "Stop."
If your partner proceeds despite your expressed instruction to stop, they have not only violated basic codes of morality and decency, they may have also committed a crime under the laws of your state (check your state's laws for specifics).