While it’s a sad truth, no community is free from sexual violence…yet. Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month takes place each April. In 2018, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) has identified four key elements to this year’s campaign including understanding sexual violence, breaking down everyday consent, engaging in healthy communication with kids, and embracing our voices as a powerful tool.
Similar to movements like the #WomensMarch and #MeToo, this month’s efforts are aimed at leveraging a larger community while empowering us all to become agents for change. Support does not require joining a group, participating in a march, or donating funds. We can each be a contributing factor in our own way. Whether helping someone to understand sexual violence, practicing consent in your everyday interactions, or activating your community, your actions and your voice are powerful.
And in case anyone is wondering why this is such an important topic to tackle, well, we’ll let the statistics speak for themselves:
- Every 98 seconds another American is sexually assaulted (RAINN, 2018)
- In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experience some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime (NSVRC, 2018)
- One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18, with only 12% of child sexual abuse ever reported to authorities (NSVRC, 2018)
- 21% of TGQN (Transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN females, and 4% of non-TGQN males (RAINN, 2018)
- People with intellectual disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate of seven times higher than those without disabilities (NPR, 2018)
- According to Veterans Affairs, one in four women and one in one hundred men reported military sexual trauma (Veteran Affairs, 2018)
- 79% of survivors who were victimized by a family member, close friend, or acquaintance experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or increased problems at work or school (RAINN, 2018)
- 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police (NSVRC, 2018)
However you choose to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month, we challenge you to use this opportunity to raise awareness within your community.
Written by Ashford University staff
Military Sexual Trauma – PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (2018). Ptsd.va.gov. Retrieved 19 March 2018, from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/types/violence/military-sexual-trauma-general.asp
Sexual Abuse of People with Disabilities | RAINN. (2018). Rainn.org. Retrieved 19 March 2018, from https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-abuse-people-disabilities
Sexual Assault Statistics | National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). (2018). Nsvrc.org. Retrieved 29 March 2018, from https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics
Statistics | RAINN. (2018). Rainn.org. Retrieved 29 March 2018, from https://www.rainn.org/statistics
The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About. (2018). NPR.org. Retrieved 19 March 2018, from https://www.npr.org/2018/01/08/570224090/the-sexual-assault-epidemic-no-one-talks-about