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Sex Abuse Laws

Sexual abuse laws can be confusing, and in New Hampshire we have several different laws addressing the issue.  Often the criminal charge that comes from breaking these laws is called Felonious Sexual Assault.

Statutory Rape

  • In New Hampshire the age of sexual consent is 16 years old.
  • Statutory rape is when a person of any age engages in sexual conduct with a person under the age of 16. It is a crime, even if both parties wanted it to happen.
  • Some teens feel this law is unfair, but the goal of the law is to keep teens safe and prevent them from making decisions they will later regret.

Acquaintance Assault

  • Acquaintance assault is sexual abuse perpetrated by someone the victim knows.
  • More than 90% of sexual assaults fall into this category.
  • Just because someone knows you, it doesn’t give them the right to touch you in a way you don’t want to be touched.
  • If a family member forces another family member to participate in sexual acts, it is called incest.

Stranger Assault

  • Stranger assaults are when a person is forced to participate in sexual acts with a person they do not know.

When people sexually abuse others, they know what they are doing and usually know that it’s against the law. New Hampshire’s sexual abuse laws are meant to bring these people to justice.