Written by SJ Neri
Following the lecture and demonstration on self-defense by Lauren Kosrow, Triton College gave a roundtable discussion on sexual violence. 1 in 4 college women will be sexually assaulted.
Here are a few facts you should know about the definition of sexual assault, and when a victim is not able to give consent:
- In the state of Illinois, sexual assault is any non-consensual sexual penetration of the mouth, vagina, or anus with any object (however slight).
- Sexual abuse is anything that falls outside of that, non-consensual touch.
- In the state of Illinois, consent cannot be given if someone is under the age of 17, the age of consent in Illinois is 17.
- If someone is unable to understand the nature of the act, due to some type of developmental disability, (or any other reason that they may not be able to understand the nature of the act), they cannot give consent.
- If there is force, or the threat of force, someone cannot give consent.
- If a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they cannot give consent.
- If there is any type of coercion, for example, if someone tells you that you will lose your job (or house) unless you have sex with them, you are unable to give consent.
This information was provided at the roundtable discussion by volunteer coordinator, Anika Sterling-Florez of Pillars. Pillars is the largest provider of mental health and social services in the western and southwestern suburbs of Chicago. Among several other services, Pillars provides a confidential, 24 hour hotline for victims of sexual assault or abuse. The number is 708-482-9600. Counselors, medical advocates, and legal advocates are all on hand to assist you (or someone you know) with coping with, or reporting a sexual assault.