Sexual Assault Awareness

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

There is a 1 in 3 chance of sexual assault by the time you are 18 years old says Robert Blongley.

1 in 6 women have been raped in her lifetime. 9 in 10 rape victims are women (RAINN). 93% of juvenile victims know their attacker. Less than 15% will report the assault. The statistics are very disturbing.

In adult rape cases, alcohol is usually involved. Dr. Soroya Bacchus, Psychiatrist from Los Angeles, says that if women just knew this fact and made sure to practice moderation and always travel with a friend, that a large number of attacks could be avoided. Victim Witness adds that college women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted because of alcohol consumption.

More help may be around the corner. The Department of Health and Human Services in the United States launched an initiative to submit innovative ideas to protect people from sexual assault. Groups have planned such ideas as a phone app for reporting sexual crimes, though this technology is not quite ready yet.

Interact, a volunteer organization at the University of North Carolina, offers services that are confidential and free of charge. Another confidential and free service is the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1.800.656.HOPE. Call this number if you are not sure what to do and suspect that a crime has been committed.

If a crime has been committed to you, call 911.

  • Do not change clothes or wash up.
  • Go immediately to the hospital and tell the ER staff what has happened.

They have a confidentiality clause. No one will know what you report. They can also provide information you may need for further counseling and support, as well as help in filing a police report and what to do next.

Examples of sexual assault include:

  • Rape of any kind by an unknown attacker
  • Rape of any kind by a known attacker
  • Domestic sexual violence
  • Spousal sexual violence
  • Sexual abuse or activity of any kind with a minor

Love Is Respect, a nonprofit corporation, helps educate people of all ages who may have questions about dating and relationships. They give examples of healthy and unhealthy relationships, examples of abuse,  warning signs of being with an abuser, and then solutions for problems of abuse in a wide range.

To avoid being a victim, RAINN says to always:

  • Avoid dangerous situations. If it does not feel right, get out of there,
  • Plan for safety. Be proactive about strong, healthy relationships and a healthy environment.
  • Know your child’s peer group and ask your child questions daily about his or her friends and experiences
  • Be smart about alcohol use. Drink only in moderation and always have a friend. Do not leave the bar or party without that friend.
  • Protect your information online. Predators are very good at hacking accounts that may lead to information about where you frequent or where you will be on a given night.

In the case that you are a victim of any sexual crime, remember that:

YOU ARE NOT YOUR SITUATION. In other words, the crime is never the victim’s fault.

  • Stand up for yourself and help yourself through reporting the crime.
  • Keep yourself safe from further attacks by using your friends and family for support.
  • Don’t let the attack paralyze you.
  • Keep yourself aware of your situation, and always use a buddy.
  • Finally, counseling and therapy are important tools to help you get to the next step in your life.
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