I am going to be promoting sexual assault awareness. Yes it is also autism awareness month but there are plenty of other people doing that, including Cafemom.

This is an issue very close to my heart. I was raped 6 years ago. I currently am doing exposure therapy to try and overcome it because I have to be on antidepressants in order to just function. My rapist never even saw the inside of the police barracks. My niece was raped twice about 5 years ago by her mom's ex-boyfriend. She was about 8 or so. Her rapist never saw a jail. I have a second cousin who is in her 50s now. She was raped with a letter openner when she was a teenager. If I remember correctly, her rapist actually went to jail for a few years.

I would love to say that these stories are unique, but they are not. 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have been a victim of attempted or completed rape. 15% of the victims are under 12 at the time of the attack. However, when not taking these children into account, every 2 minutes another person in America is sexually assaulted. Yet in every 100 rape cases there are only 12 successful convictions with only 7 of the rapists facing jail time (Campbell, 2008).

Now before you start with stranger danger, 73% of those sexually assaulted are attacked by someone they know. This is probably what makes victims and survivors so much more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping. Many become depressed and/or suicidal.

So what am I doing to help promote awareness? Many things. I have a t-shirt that I wear from time to time. I recently had an awareness tattoo done on my wrist. I do talks for RAINN. I am trying to set up a support group at the local community college. But most of all I talk. I talk online about what happened to me. It helps to bring me closure but it helps others too. I have had many tell me how just hearing my story has given them the motivation to seek the help they need. I have also helped some come to terms with it. So what are you doing?

If you need help, RAINN is here to help. Their toll free hotline number is 1-800-656-HOPE(4673). They also have an online website...https://ohl.rainn.org/online/. And finally if you are in the military, here is the website specifically for you, https://www.safehelpline.org/.

SOURCES:


Campbell, R. (2008). The psychological impact of rape victims. American Psychologist, 63(8), 702-717. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.63.8.702

RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network | RAINN: The nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization.One of "America's 100 Best Charities" -Worth magazine. (n.d.). RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network | RAINN: The nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization.One of "America's 100 Best Charities" -Worth magazine. Retrieved April 4, 2011, from http://www.rainn.org/

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Comments:

knagsmom
Apr. 4, 2011 at 3:19 PM

hugs

i was sexually assualted and raped when i was in 8th grade.  i was 15. it was by someone i knew and he didnt see jail either. march 17th is the worest day for me and i too am on antidepressants just to function. thank you for bringing this in to focus.

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