The information in this blog comes directly from RAINN (rainn.org)
National Sexual Assault Helpline: 1-800-656-4673
Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 9 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 25 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 women in the US are raped or sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.
Despite ignorant comments such as, “They were asking for it. What do they expect to happen dressed like that? They should not have been drinking.”
Here are the statistics on what the survivor was doing when the crime occurred:
- 48% were sleeping, or performing another activity at home
- 29% were traveling to and from work or school, or traveling to shop or run errands
- 12% were working
- 7% were attending school
- 5% were doing an unknown or other activity
The impact of sexual violence extends beyond physical trauma or injuries.
Many survivors struggle to come to terms with what happened, regain their sense of safety and trust, and move forward with their lives. Survivors often blame themselves. They often feel ashamed, in fact, a high percentage of survivors do not speak up or seek legal action.
Below are common results of rape or sexual assault:
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)
- Feeling Afraid, Ashamed, and/or Alone
- Experiencing Nightmares or Flashbacks
- Feeling Unsafe, Lack of Trust in Others
- Reduced Self-Worth
- Blaming Themselves
- Panic Attacks
- Sleep Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Substance Abuse
Depression occurs when an individual experiences feeling of sadness and hopeless for extended periods of time. These symptoms often cause an disruption in their daily lives. It can have negative affects on not only your behaviors but also your relationships with yourself and others.
Survivors often experience feelings of sadness and hopelessness; however, if the feelings continue for long periods of time, this may indicate depression.
Flashbacks are memories of the trauma that feel like they are currently happening all over again. They can make it difficult to distinguish between the memory from reality.
PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) is characterized by feelings of stress, fear, anxiety, and nervousness. In more extreme cases, survivors may feel as if they are constantly in danger. Common symptoms include re-experience (ex: flashbacks), avoidance, and hyper-arousal (ex: on edge”)
A survivor of sexual violence is likely to experience mental health symptoms. The trauma truly extends far beyond the physical aggression. Survivors can often benefit from the help of a professional.
Here is a great resource for learning how to cope with or help a loved one cope with sexual violence: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/recovering-from-rape-and-sexual-trauma.htm