Kristen Houser, the chief public affairs officer at NSVRC, explained that any type of unwanted groping, touching or kissing is certainly in the definition of sexual assault.
“It is absolutely on the continuum of sexual violence,” Houser told The Huffington Post. “There are a lot of different ways that people can be sexually violated and exploited that don’t need to require any physical contact, let alone sexual penetration. Sexually violent acts fall along a continuum that go from no contact to very brutal physical violations such as rape or sexual homicides. And we absolutely include any unwanted touching, kissing and groping on that continuum.”
Just because many Trump supporters and political pundits can’t define sexual assault, that doesn’t mean what these women say they experienced isn’t assault.
For the record, the United States Department of Justice defines sexual assault as follows:
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.
Anti-sexual violence organization RAINN includes “fondling or unwanted sexual touching” with their definition of sexual assault, while the National Sexual Violence Resource Center defines “unwanted sexual contact or touching” as a type of sexual violence.