There is never a wrong time to talk about sexual assault. Here is some information to give you the facts and offer tips on what to do if you see sexual assault taking place.
The Reality of Sexual Assault In America:
- Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted
- 1 out of every 6 women in the United States has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. 82% of all juvenile victims are female with 90% of adult rape victims being female.
- About 3% of American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (1 out of every 10 rape victims are male).
“No” means NO, but so does:
- “I’m not sure”
- “Let’s just chill”
- “I’ve changed my mind”
- “Maybe Later”
- “I’m not comfortable with this”
- “I don’t like that”
- “Not today”
- “I don’t feel like it”
If it is not an enthusiastic YES…it’s a “No,” and will always be a “No.”
Steps that can be taken to prevent sexual assault
We all have a role in preventing sexual assault. Instead of being a bystander here are a few things we can do to make a difference when we see someone at risk.
- Create a distraction – That could be as simple as cutting off the conversation you’ve observed with a distraction.
- Ask directly – If the person you’re concerned about has a moment alone, ask them, “Would you like me to stay with you?” or “Who did you come here with?”
- Enlist others – Ask someone to come with you to approach the person at risk. When it comes to expressing concern or de-escalating a situation, sometimes there is power in numbers.
- Refer to an authority – Talk to a security guard, bartender, or another employee about your concerns. It’s in their best interest to ensure that their patrons are safe, and usually, they’re willing to step in.
It can be very hard to speak on assault, but there are many resources to help survivors of sexual assault have their voices heard and resources to help them heal.
*National Sexual Assualt Hotline: 800.656.HOPE or chat now
*Rainn.org provides a list of national resources for sexual assault survivors and their loved ones on their website.
By Amaris Edwards, Senior, Brooks College Prep