Sexual assault is serious. It’s scary and upsetting and, honestly, it doesn’t get talked about as often as it should. It happens to so many people, and if it’s not openly spoken about, they can feel like they are all alone. But before we get into all of the scary things about sexual assault, we should address what sexual assault actually is. Sexual assault can involve anything from being touched in an appropriate way to being penetrated without consent. It is traumatic for the victim and, unfortunately, it happens more often than you would think. People are often silenced or victim blamed when they talk about their scary experiences, which is why so many people keep it to themselves. It’s awful that society works this way.
Sexual assault and violence is a tough thing to discuss, but it’s imperative for everyone to know the facts so that we as society can work to combat them, even if they’re scary to think about. Some of them are super upsetting, so proceed with caution. Take a look at some of these things you need to know about sexual assault, and if you have any more questions or concerns, be sure to check out RAINN, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network.
Eighty Percent Of Survivors Will Develop Psychological ConditionsFour out of five sexual assault victims subsequently suffer from chronic physical or psychological conditions, like PTSD and panic attacks. This can lead to years of therapy, which is often hard to afford, and has its own negative stigma attached to it. It's terrifying to think of the consequences of sexual assault, but it's also really important for victims to seek help to get through their situation. Image Source: iStock
Thirty-Five Percent Of Sexual Assault Victims Will Experience Assault AgainAs if getting assaulted once wasn't enough, you are more likely to be sexually assaulted if you have experienced it before. There can be many reasons for this, but a common theory is that women who experience trauma from a young age are so used to it, they don't recognize when it is happening to them over and over. A good way to break this cycle is to get help and talk to someone about assault. Image Source: iStock
Many Victims Will Never Tell Anyone About Their AssaultThe reason so many victims never speak about their assault is because it feels horrible to have no one believe you, or even claim it might have been your fault. This is called victim blaming, and it discourages the victim from ever reporting the assault, which means more assaulters and rapists get off with not punishment. In fact, 44 percent of college women who are raped will not tell anyone about their assault. Image Source: iStock
Out Of 1,000 Rapes, Only Six Will Get Jail TimeBecause very few rapes get reported, for every 1,000 rapes, only six people will get jail time. On top of that, if the rapist has a good lawyer or comes from a good family, they can easily get off with a sentence that's basically a joke. Rape is a criminal offense, but barely ever do rapists and sexual assaulters get punished for it the way they should be. This is why it's important to support survivors of sexual assault and believe their stories, so that they can go along with pressing charges. Image Source: iStock
Rape Results In 32,000 Unplanned Pregnancies Each YearFor some strange reason, there is a common misconception that a women's reproductive system will "shut down" and be unable to conceive if they are being raped or assaulted. This is totally not true. According to a recent study, rape cause cause 32,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. Image Source: iStock
More Than Half Of Sexual Assaults Are Done By A Persons Romantic PartnerEven though you might think an assaulter is someone who is just going to be waiting for you in a creepy alley way, that's actually not the case. Over 51 percent of sexual assault victims were actually attacked by their romantic partners. What's even worse is that people are less likely report their assault if it is from someone they know. Image Source: iStock
People Who Identify As LGBTQ Are More Likely To Experience Sexual AssaultEven though sexual assault can happen to anyone of any identity, there are studies that show that some groups of people are more likely to be assaulted. Unfortunately, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer are actually more likely to experience sexual assault or rape. Image Source: iStock