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Being pressured into sex is a frightening and uncomfortable situation, regardless of what your relationship is with the other person. Personal boundaries must be respected, and you don’t need an explanation behind the word “no.” Sexual activity without consent is never alright, and in some cases, may be viewed by Texas state as sexual coercion, and grounds for legal action. If you were pressured into having sex – either through physical threats or verbal coercion – speak to a Dallas sexual assault victim lawyer about your rights.

Pressured into sex? You have rights

The bottom line is that it’s your body, and you always have the right to say no. Sex is not an obligation, and when you engage in some form of sexual activity under duress, you have been victimized. The moment that willful consent is missing from both parties is the moment that sex is not shared, but forced.

Sexual coercion takes many forms. It can include threatening someone with physical injury, threatening harm to their loved ones, using physical force, or repeated psychological intimidation.

If you were pressured into sex, there are many resources available to support and guide you. Experienced therapists and counselors are trained in helping victims of sexual assault and abuse.  Many have 24-hour hotlines and provide a confidential space to discuss what happened.

Speaking to someone about what happened is often one of the first steps to realizing a healthy course of action. The following organizations have sexual abuse support specialists who help survivors by providing resources and referrals to assist with both immediate and long-term needs:

If you were under 18 years old when the sexual encounter took place, report it to authorities, and schedule a SANE exam at a medical facility as soon as possible. A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner may ask to take photos of injuries or collect samples that contain evidence. Victims may be accompanied by an advocate if they prefer.

In the end, the law says that sex must involve consent to be legal. If you feel that you were coerced and pressured, a personal injury lawyer at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP, can help you pursue recovery through civil litigation.

How does Texas define consent?

If you were afraid of the consequences of saying “no” to sex, or communicated your wishes clearly, but were still ignored, then there was no consent. During moments of intense trauma or stress, the brain goes into a fight or flight mode. For many sexual assault victims, the physiological reaction in the moment is a sort of self-preservation mode known as Tonic immobility — a reflex responsive to fear-provoking stimuli. Our brains have their own coping skills to help us survive traumatic events.

Fortunately, the law affords recourse for victims of rape and non-consensual sexual acts.

In Texas, sexual assault without consent can arise in a number of ways:

  • You are compelled to submit or participate by the use of physical force, coercion, or violence
  • You are unconscious or physically unable to resist
  • You are cognitively impaired at the time and incapable of understanding the nature of the act or stopping it
  • You have been drugged or given alcohol without your knowledge and are unable to assess or control the other person’s actions
  • Your emotional dependency on the abuser (including a public servant, health care provider, or clergyman) is exploited to encourage your participation
  • You are under 14 years of age and not able to give consent

Civil remedies for sexual assault

If you were pressured into sex, and want to discuss your rights with an experienced attorney, please contact Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP to schedule a free, confidential consultation. A civil lawsuit can attempt to recover compensation for a number of injuries and losses, including medical and therapy expenses, lost wages, pain, and emotional suffering, as well as mental anguish. A Dallas personal injury attorney can stand up for your rights and fight for the justice and closure that you deserve.