April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Did you know that every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted? Do you know someone who has been sexually assaulted? It's far more common that many people think. Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives. These numbers are astonishing.
In Jon Krakauer's bestseller, Missoula, Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, he gives the details of multiple sexual assaults on young women in the college town of Missoula, Montana and how difficult it was for these women to be believed and get justice through the court system. It was incredibly eye opening. Much of it is uncomfortable reading, but it is something that everyone needs to be aware of and learn how to prevent it from happening to you and your loved ones.
The Majority of Sexual Assaults Occur At or Near the Victims Home
RAINN stands for Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network and is the United States' largest anti-sexual violence organization. They created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE. They provide programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
National Sexual Resource Violence Center is another excellent resource for information and resources on sexual assault.
Child Sexual Abuse Is a Widespread Problem
Sadly, 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult. That anyone would abuse a child is horrific, but we need to face the facts and protect our children. This book, Consent (for Kids!): Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of YOU, is 5 star rated on Amazon. It helps parents address the issue with their kids. One reviewer states, "So good that adults can learn from it too!"
Consent is something that needs to be discussed at all ages and in all circumstances. An estimated 13% of women and 6% of men have experienced sexual coercion in their lifetime. We've seen the MeToo movement surface because women have come forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. This isn't the fun, enjoyable reading that I like do but it is the necessary reading that needs to done to educate ourselves, our children and our communities so we can prevent abuse from happening.