Generally, sexual abuse/assault is defined as unwanted sexual contact. The defines sexual assault as "unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling."
The National Center for Victims of Crime states:
Sexual assault takes many forms including attacks such as rape or attempted rape, as well as any unwanted sexual contact or threats. Usually a sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person's body in a sexual way, even through clothes, without that person's consent.
In the , the definition of sexual assault varies widely among the individual states. However, in most states sexual assault occurs when there is lack of consent from one of the individuals involved. Consent must take place between two adults who are not incapacitated and can change during any time during the sexual act.