Although Sexual Assault Awareness Month may be over, the topic of sexual assault and violence needs to be an ongoing conversation. “Recent global prevalence figures indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime”.
Effects of Sexual Assault
In addition to the trauma of experiencing sexual assault, the after-effects—both mentally and physically— are just as impactful. These effects include:
Post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, extreme shame, self-harm, depression, Stockholm syndrome, eating and sleep disorders, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, dissociative identity disorder, and many more.
Sexual violence comes in many forms. Here are the types and facts.
Sexual Violence: Some states use rape and sexual violence interchangeably.
Rape: In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Women, men, children, straight or gay, can be a victim of rape.
Acquaintance Rape: This involves coercive sexual activities against a person’s will by means of force, violence, or fear of bodily injury by someone they know.
Child Sexual Abuse: Sexual violence of children. Often occurs in the form of incest.
Child Abuse: Takes place when a child is harmed physically, psychologically, or by acts of neglect.
Dating and Domestic Violence: Occurs in all socio-economic, educational, racial, and age groups. The issues of power and control are at the heart of family violence.
Drug Facilitated Sexual Violence: When drugs or alcohol is used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity.
Hate Crimes: The victimization of an individual based on that person’s race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, gender, or sexual orientation.
Incest: Occurs between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.).
Male Sexual Violence: Men and boys as victims of the crimes of sexual violence, sexual abuse, and rape. In the U.S., over 10% of all victims are male.
Partner Rape: Sexual acts committed without a person’s consent and/or against a person’s will when the perpetrator is the individual’s partner (married or not)
Sexual Exploitation by Helping Professionals: Sexual contact of any kind between a helping professional — doctor, therapist, teacher, priest, professor, police officer, lawyer, etc. — and a client/patient.
Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Stalking: Often arises with sexual violence and can be life altering for victims. Individuals who are stalked often change many of their behavior patterns and have strong emotional responses to the stalking.
Stranger Rape: 3 types include Blitz Sexual Assault, Contact Sexual Assault, Home Invasion Sexual Assault