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what is rape? what is considered rape? what should you do if someone you know has been raped? can you get pregnat from rape?

Every state defines crimes like “rape” and “sexual assault” differently. Most agree that any sexual contact is a crime if the victim does not consent, is too young to give legal consent, or is physically helpless and can’t give consent — for example, when drunk, drugged, or asleep. Most also agree that using threats or physical force to gain sexual contact is also a crime, whether or not the victim is in a relationship with the aggressor.

Without consent, the following sexual activities are likely to be seen as crimes:

  • cunnilingus — contact between the mouth of one person and the vulva of another
  • fellatio — touching or penetrating the mouth with a penis
  • forcing a victim to touch someone else’s intimate parts
  • intentionally touching the intimate parts of the body, such as buttocks, inner thighs, breasts, genital area — or the clothing covering them
  • penetration of the anus or vagina with an object or a body part, such as a finger or penis

Yes, it’s possible to get pregnant as a result of rape. Pregnancy is possible if ejaculate or pre-ejaculate gets in the vagina or on the vulva.

If a woman is raped, she may want to consider the morning-after pill, also known as emergency contraception (EC) to avoid becoming pregnant. EC can reduce the risk of pregnancy if started within 120 hours of unprotected vaginal intercourse. The sooner EC is taken, the better. Women older than 17 can buy EC over the counter. Younger women need a prescription. Many hospital emergency rooms are able to provide EC.

nearby Planned Parenthood health center may be able to provide information about support groups or individual therapy for rape survivors. You may also want to contact the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network at 1-800-656-HOPE for additional information and support.

Tags: pregnancy, emergency contraception, consent, rape, sexual assault, violence, morning after pill