Perpetrators and Victims

Who perpetrates sexual assault?  
Men and women both commit sexual assault; however, research shows men perpetrate crimes of sexual assault more often than women. The majority of perpetrators are known to the victim; either as an acquaintance, date, partner, relative or friend.
Who are victims of sexual assault?  
Sexual assault can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic status or race.
What is consent?  
An agreement, approval, or permission as to some act or purpose, given voluntarily by a competent person. Nebraska law states "without consent" means:
  1. The person was compelled to submit due to the use of force or threat of force or coercion, or the person expressed a lack of consent through words, or the person expressed a lack of consent through conduct, or the consent, if any was actually given, was the result of the actor's deception as to the identity of the actor or the nature or purpose of the act on the part of the actor.
  2. The person need only resist, either verbally or physically, so as to make the person's refusal to consent genuine and real and so as to reasonably make known to the actor the person's refusal to consent.
  3. A person need not resist verbally or physically where it would be useless or futile to do so.
  4. In the above text, the word "person" means the individual against whom a wrongful act was allegedly committed, and the word "actor" is the individual alleged to have committed a wrongful act. When the actor knew or should have known that a person was mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct, there is no consent. A person may be incapacitated due to intoxication, mental illness or deficiency or by physical illness or disability to the extent that personal decision-making is impossible. Surprise may also prevent resistance, as where a person is grabbed from behind.

There are some persons who the law presumes are incapable of consenting to sexual contact or penetration by an actor by reason of their age. Under Nebraska law an actor nineteen years of age or older many not subject a person under the age of sixteen years of age to sexual penetration, or a person under fifteen years of age to sexual contact.