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Sexual Battery vs Sexual Assault both come under the umbrella of sexual abuse. Both terms have different definitions, but one thing remains similar, i.e., consent. Sexual Battery and Sexual Assault are both heinous crimes conducted sexually, but the punishment varies from state and country.

Since there is a low level of awareness and next to no legal knowledge of sexual assault, most victims do not realize the severity of sexual abuse and the classification of abuse. Hence, they suffer in the hands of the assaulter as they know nothing about the legal proceedings and justice.

Sexual assault comes under the category of rape, and sexual battery is considered a low-level crime than rape. However, both categories involve sexual harassment and are punishable acts.

In this blog, we will learn more about sexual battery vs sexual assault and how both are different. Keep reading if you know someone who has undergone any of the above offenses.

What is Sexual Battery - 1

Unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature is sexual battery. It is a type of sexual assault that lacks consent and includes touching, rubbing, and groping of the intimate body part. It is a non-consensual physical contact that may involve penetration.

It comes under the crime of sexual abuse if it intends to create sexual arousal or gratification. However, the presence of clothes does not determine the course of the case. It is still considered a crime if the victim is dressed.

Suppose Martin and Lisa work together in a company in different departments. Now Lisa is making coffee in the kitchen, and Martin comes too. Now, Marin starts getting closer to Lisa, and she immediately stops him and asks him to step away. Instead of listening to Lisa, Martin starts touching her private parts. This is an example of Sexual Battery, where Martin sexually touched Lisa without her consent.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault refers to sexual contact that is forced and without the victim’s consent. Sexual assault is a boarder term and may or may not involve penetration. Attempt to rape, rape, fondling, force penetration, force the victim to perform sexual acts, oral sex, etc.

Sexual assault is physical and non-physical acts that harm the victim psychologically. It can occur between strangers or even known people. It can happen regardless of age, race, gender, and background.

Consider Jeena and Brian, who recently started dating and going on dates. Jeena invites Brian for a cup of coffee at her apartment; now, Jeena does not want to engage in any sexual act, but Brian forcefully grabs her and attempts to rape her. This is an example of Sexual Assault, and Brian must be punished for this crime.

What is Consent?

What is consent

Consent is a permission that you give to someone to touch you sexually. By giving your consent, you agree to the sexual act by choice. Both parties have the freedom to give consent regardless of age and gender.

Consent can be withdrawn during sex or sexual acts. If someone has given you consent earlier, it does not mean you can use the same consent at any time.

For example, Jake and Lauren are dating, and they both are in physical contact as well. No intercourse is done yet, but they kiss and touch each other with consent. Lauren goes to Jake’s place, where Jake forcefully throws himself and attempts to rape Lauren, and she stops him. Now, this is consent. Even if a couple is dating, and one party is uncomfortable with intercourse, and if the other party does it forcefully, it is a sexual crime.

The consent is not applicable in the following cases:

  • The individual is asleep, unconscious, drugged, or drunk.
  • The individual is pressured or manipulated by the other party.
  • The consent is forceful, and the individual is tricked into saying yes.
  • Too young to understand and make a choice.
  • If the individual is not mentally stable.

What is Sexual Contact?

What is Sexual Contact

Sexual contact is any touch of a sexual nature. In a sexual battery, usually, the offender touches and grabs the private and intimate parts of the victim, and later on, if penetration occurs, it falls under the crime of rape. Both sexual battery and sexual assault involve sexual contact.

Sexual contact can be consensual or non-consensual; without consent, it is a crime, and the offender can also report you. Sexual contact can be with or without clothes, and the purpose is to get sexual pleasure.

Similarities Between Sexual Battery and Sexual Assault:

Similarities between Sexual Battery and Sexual Assault

Sexual Battery and Sexual Assault both fall under the category of Sexual abuse. Both are serious crimes and are punishable by law. However, the charges may vary from case to case and the harm to the victim. Not to mention, the main similarity is consent.

Consent means agreeing to the sexual act. Both sexual battery and sexual Assault are non-consensual. Moreover, it does not matter, once consent is given. Consent can be withdrawn at any point in time.

Differences Between Sexual Battery vs Sexual Assault:

Differences between Sexual Battery and Sexual Assault

Sexual Battery and Sexual Assault both fall under sexual crime, and both are punishable crimes. Sexual Battery Vs Sexual Assault, let’s learn about the core differences.

Sexual Battery Vs Sexual Assault:

Sexual Assault is when the offender forces the victim to engage in sexual intercourse or attempt to rape. Sexual Battery is when the offender, without consent, intimately touches the victim with the aim of sexual arousal.


Sexual Assault is a sexual action, something that is happened. Attempt to rape, rape, vaginal penetration, oral or anal sexual activity. Sexual battery is a sexual act that does not involve penetration or intercourse.


By law, sexual Assault is a more serious crime; rape or attempt to rape also falls under the same category. Whereas sexual battery is a lesser crime, and the laws for sexual battery vary from state to state.

What are the Different Types of Sexual Crime?

What are the different types of Sexual Crime

Sexual Battery Vs Sexual Assault, a lot of people, confuse the two terms. Nonetheless, both crimes come under the category of Sexual Crime, yet they are two distinct sexual offenses.

Any act that involves sexuality without consent is a sexual crime. The majority of people are unaware of sexual offenses and the involvement of criminality. They are unable to seek justice legally.


Sexual battery and Sexual Assault both are serious sexual crimes. Yet, they are under-reported crimes. Most people do not understand the difference between sexual battery and sexual Assault and fail to get justice. The victims of any sexual crime must report to law enforcement agencies and should consult shelters that help sexual assault victims. Victims should also seek medical help to heal from the traumatic experience.


What is the main difference between Sexual Battery vs. Sexual Assault?

Sexual battery is the non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature. At the same time, sexual assault is a boarder range of non-consensual sexual acts that include both physical and non-physical forms.

What is consent?

Consent is the act of agreeing to sexual action. Permission is given to the other party to perform a sexual act. Consent is for an infinite period; it varies and can be withdrawn at any point. Even consent is withdrawn during sex or sexual activity.

Is physical force or violence involved in sexual battery and sexual Assault?

Not in all cases. Sometimes, the sexual action is done by taking advantage of the other party. In some instances, it includes physical aggression and manipulation. Also, to seek justice, the involvement of physical force is not the key element, the absence of consent is the primary focus.

Do sexual battery and sexual Assault always involve physical force or violence?

No, not all cases of sexual battery or sexual assault involve physical force or violence. While some instances may include overt physical aggression, others may involve coercion, manipulation, or taking advantage of a person’s vulnerability. The key element is the absence of consent.

What should someone do if they have been a victim of sexual battery or sexual Assault?

If someone has experienced sexual assault or sexual battery, they must seek medical attention and report the incident to support services and legal organizations.

Is sexual Assault the same as a battery?

Sexual battery and Sexual assault are both sexual crimes, but they are not the same. Sexual Assault is a border range of non-consensual sexual acts, including rape and attempts to rape.

Is sexual Assault a form of battery?

Both are sexual crimes, and both refer to non-consensual sexual acts. However, sexual battery refers to the sexual act of touching another’s intimate part, with or without dress. Both are punishable crimes, and the punishment varies from state to state.

Lisa Clontz

Author Lisa Clontz

Lisa Clontz is an experienced Executive Director at Shelter Home of Caldwell County, specializing in providing shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence, child support, rape, and sexual assault. With her years of expertise, Lisa passionately assists women and children, helping them access the necessary resources and care they need. Her unwavering commitment to creating a safe environment and empowering survivors has made her an invaluable advocate in the community.

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