Written by Jenna Ratzlaff
I want to give a context warning of what will be talked about in this post, so you are able to take care of yourself in the best way possible. During the month of March, our posts will be highlighting the importance of Sexual Assault Awareness month and how we can be effective advocates, organizational leaders, and support systems to survivors. Please take care of yourself as this is heavy content to read about and discuss. If you need immediate support please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1 (800) 656-4673 (available 24/7).
Every 98 seconds (about 1 and a half minutes), a person in the United States is sexually assaulted.
81% of women and 43% of men have reported experiencing a form of sexual harassment or assault in their lifetime.
Those in the LGBTQ community experience sexual violence at higher rates than those who identify as heterosexual. 1 in 10 LGBTQ persons will experience intimate partner violence. Per the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects, it is suggested that half of transgender people and bisexual women will experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
Most often, survivors of sexual violence know their perpetrators and have some sort of relationship established with them. Oftentimes the perpetrators are intimate partners, family members, friends, colleagues, or know the survivor in some other form.
These statistics suggest sexual violence is an epidemic that needs to be talked about more often.
Sexual violence can range from rape/sexual assault to nonconsensual image sharing. Visit this link to learn about all the ways sexual violence takes form. We commonly see sexual violence play out in the form of sexual harassment. From catcalling to nonconsensual touching, acts of sexual harassment are committed every single day across the world, drastically changing the life of the targeted person of the act. Any act of sexual violence can cause significant trauma on an individual. A few moments of pleasure for one person can cause a lifetime of pain and trauma for the other. It is absolutely infuriating.
You may be asking the important question of “how can I help?” There are many ways we as allies and a society can support survivors of sexual violence.
Please visit our website next week for an updated blog on how allies and society can support survivors of sexual violence.
To search for additional support groups and resources near you, search here.