Piedmont Rape Crisis Center
Empowering hope, through support, awareness, & advocacy



Frequently Asked Questions


The following are just a few of questions our staff and volunteers frequently receive. If your question is not listed or you need more information, do not hesitate to contact us here or call the hotline: 770.586.5423


What is the definition of rape under Georgia law?

Georgia law states that rape consists of "carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will." Unfortunately, this is a very limited definition compared to rape laws in other states around the country. Even if an experience of sexual violence does not fit this legal definition of “rape,” there are other charges, such as “sexual battery” and “aggravated sexual battery,” that often apply. Forced sexual contact is wrong and it is against the law.

What does the term "sexual assault" refer to?

Sexual assault is a sexual act committed against a person's will or without their consent. There are several different kinds of sexual assault including:  sexual harassment, child molestation, stranger rape, acquaintance rape, sexual battery and other offenses.


Here are some facts:

  • Most people are sexually assaulted by someone they know.
  • Most sexual assaults are perpetrated by individuals who are the same race as their victims.
  • Sexual assault can happen to any woman, child, or man. Everyone is at risk, however, the vast majority of sexual assault victims are female.
  • Sexual assault is not caused by what the victim is wearing, where she happens to be, or what she happens to be doing. It is always the responsibility of the assailant.
  • Sexual assault is a crime motivated by violence, anger, and power; it is not an act of sexual desire.
  • Regardless of the circumstances, sexual assault is NEVER the victim's fault.

What is sexual harassment? 

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual assault consisting of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature and occurs within the workplace or school setting. It is the sexualization of an otherwise non-sexual relationship. Sexual harassment is the most common form of sexual assault. 

What is stranger rape? 

Stranger rape is a form of sexual assault in which someone forces a person they do not know to have sexual intercourse or other sexual contact without their consent.  

What is date or acquaintance rape? 

“Date rape” is rape committed by someone the victim knows, often within the context of a dating relationship or situation. “Acquaintance rape” is also rape that is committed by someone the victim is acquainted with, but may refer to a rape committed in a dating or other kind of relationship. “Acquaintance rape” may be committed by a friend, relative, or someone else the victim knows. Regardless of the relationship between the victim and rapist, rape is against the law! The attacker can be a supposed friend, relative, date, or spouse. Sexual violence is a violation of the victim’s body and her trust. This type of rape is the most common – about 80% of rapes are acquaintance rapes.

Most people who are sexually assaulted are assaulted by someone they know, in a place they are used to being, such as in their home. 

What is incest? 

Incest is a form of sexual assault in which someone is sexually assaulted or exploited by a family member.

Can men and boys be sexually assaulted?

YES. Anyone can be victim of sexual assault, regardless of gender. One in six males will be sexually assaulted sometime in their lifetime.

What if a victim feels that "it was their fault" they they were victimized? 

Rape can happen to anyone, and no one is to blame for rape other than the rapist. The victim is never at fault, no matter what they did or did not do to thwart the attack, what type of clothing they were wearing, or whether or not they were using alcohol or other drugs. No one deserves to be raped!

Can family and friends of a victim call the crisis line for help? 

YES! Anyone can call PRCC's 24-hour crisis line to get help and information concerning sexual assault.

How can I get help if I have been sexually assaulted? 

Call PRCC's 24-hour crisis line immediately! The number is: 770.586.5423. Our staff and trained volunteers are available to speak with you at any time, day or night.