An assault means an attack on purpose, generally violent in nature. Assaults can be physical or verbal, although most reported cases tend to belong to the former. A physical assault often results in bodily injury for the person assaulted, and can lead to permanent disability or even death in severe cases.

The punishment for assault varies from case to case and depends on the intent of the perpetrator, the weapons used and the extent of the damage suffered by the victim. Rape is also a form of assault. In quite a few countries, mutual consent is used as a defence by the accused, especially in cases of sexual assault. If you assaulted the person in self defence, then you may be acquitted instead of being punished for using force, depending upon the circumstances involved. In America, minor assaults are treated as an attempt to commit battery. Stronger ones are given the status of felony.

As per official statistics available, the United States of America has the highest number of reported cases of assault, with a little over two million . South Africa comes second, but is ahead of the USA when you consider the number of assaults as a ratio to the number of people residing in the country.

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