Sexual assault can haunt a person for their lifetime. When a victim survives this type of attack, it can take years of therapy for them to begin working past some of the emotions that come up as a result. The most common of those being:
Loss of emotion
Loss of trust
If you are the victim of sexual assault, you need to understand that none of this was your fault and that you aren’t alone in this. Every two minutes, someone else is being sexually assaulted. That means each year there are 237,868 victims. Of those, 44% of the victims are under the age of 18, while 80% of all the reported cases are those under the age of 30.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the assault can’t happen to others. There is evidence that the elderly, disabled individuals and both genders can be assaulted. Of these individuals 2/3 knew the person who was attacking them and 38% of the attacks came from people that the victim was a friend or acquaintance with. This established level of trust, is one of the reasons why most rapes actually take place in homes, offices and even vehicles during the day, rather than in a dark alley in the middle of the night.
After an assault, the victim often experiences fear and embarrassment. This is why 60% of victims don’t take the time to report the crime to the police. The fact they aren’t being reported and a crowded legal system also results in 97% of attackers from never spending a single day in jail. Even then, most attackers claim they had a false claim made against them when in truth only 2% of attacks are falsely reporting according to the FBI.
A lot of the misconception about sexual assault has led to problems when dealing with these crimes. Many people look at victims as being someone who provoked the attack by dressing suggestively or asking to be attacked. The truth is that these attacks are about power and control and the victim is left humiliated and degraded afterwards. Meaning this isn’t something that they ever asked for or deserved.
Some other important things to keep in mind include:
It is possible for a man to be sexually assaulted. One out of every six man has been a victim of sexual abuse in their life. However, the majority of these cases go unreported.
Typically, these assaults occur between members of the same race. Although, while uncommon interracial assaults do happen.
Even when a person doesn’t physically fight back, if the sex is against their will it is an assault. Many victims will never try to fight back because of their attacker’s size, threats, shock and the fear of the unknown.
When this type of crime takes place, you need to remember you are never alone. When an assault takes place, make sure you contact the police and they will take you to get medical treatment. You can then meet with professionals at crises centers, speak to therapists and do what you can to begin the healing process and always understand that none of this is actually your fault.