April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
Why should you care about sexual assault? Because, unfortunately, sexual violence touches so many of us, not “just” women. According to statistics collected by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Division of Violence Prevention:
- Nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives.
- 37.4% of female rape victims were first raped between ages 18-24.
- Among female rape victims, perpetrators were reported to be intimate partners (51.1%), family members (12.5%), acquaintances (40.8%) and strangers (13.8%).
- Among male rape victims, perpetrators were reported to be acquaintances (52.4%) and strangers (15.1%).
- Among male victims who were made to penetrate someone else, perpetrators were reported to be intimate partners (44.8%), acquaintances (44.7%) and strangers (8.2%).
- 12.3% female rape victims and 27.8% of male rape victims were first raped when they were age 10 or younger.[i]
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
As of July 1, 2015, in Virginia, laws affecting the campus response to sexual assault (SB 712/HB 1930, HB 1785 and SB 1193) become effective that will hopefully lead to improvements in how we treat college sexual assault survivors, report incidents of sexual violence and hold perpetrators accountable.
So, what can you do to raise awareness about sexual violence and help prevent it? Through “bystander intervention” everyone, including men, can help prevent sexual violence by ENGAGING—noticing and interrupting a potentially dangerous situation.[ii] Educate yourself, your friends and your children about bystander intervention techniques. Be part of the solution.
[i] Sexual Violence: Facts at a Glance, 2012, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/datasources.html
[ii] See Partners in Social Change, Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Winter 2010, p. 3; http://www.nsvrc.org/bystander-intervention-background-and-general-information