Multiple-Perpetrator Sexual Assault

It can be difficult to come to terms with an experience like multiple-perpetrator sexual assault. You should know you’re not alone. Visit to talk to someone anonymously about what happened to you.

What is multiple-perpetrator sexual assault?

Multiple-perpetrator sexual assault occurs when two or more perpetrators act together to sexually assault the same victim. Some common aspects of multiple-perpetrator assault include:


  • Beginning as a consensual activity and introducing others to participate against the victim’s will or without consent
  • Planning the assault in advance
  • Targeting a victim that has an existing connection with one of the perpetrators, often sexual in nature
  • Using alcohol or drugs to subdue the victim, known as drug-facilitated sexual assault
  • Using the assault to introduce or reinforce membership in a group

What are common effects for survivors?

    Survivors of multiple-perpetrator sexual assault may experience the same effects that victims of other types of sexual assault face. The nature of this particular crime can present specific challenges including:


    • Added level of threat or fear from the additional number of perpetrators
    • Dealing with repercussions of shared digital content, such as shared photos or videos from the assault
    • Difficulty prosecuting the crime, because of the number of perpetrators and the close bond they share
    • Increased humiliation or shame knowing that several people watched, participated, or acted as a bystander without intervening
    • Increased risk of STIs due to the presence of additional perpetrators

    To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at

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