Sexually abusive behavior may be divided into subcategories: (a.) sexual assault and (b.) sexual harassment. Both forms of sexual abuse are serious legal matters. Often, the parties at fault in these situations are not only the people being sexually abusive, but also any superior who allows such behavior to occur.
Sexual assault involves forcibly causing another person to engage in an unwanted sexual act. Force used may be physical or verbal and involves knowledge on the part of the offending party that the act is unwanted. Sexual harassment, while painful, is more difficult to categorize than sexual assault.
According to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) sexual harassment is defined as follows:
“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”
Both sexual harassment and sexual abuse may result in civil liability on the part of offenders, as well as those in a position of authority who allow sexual abuse to persist.