“Sexual Assault Awareness Month breaks the silence and gives a voice to speak up against sexual violence. Sexual assault is a difficult thing to talk about, but we should talk about it anyway,” Jennifer Stifter, a victim services advocate and member of our Richmond Violence Response Team, shares.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month was first recognized in April of 2001, bringing this issue into the public eye to raise awareness and provide resources to survivors as well as those at risk. The goal of this month is to promote education and the prevention of sexual violence.
Sexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact. This includes both words and actions against a person’s will and without their consent.
Did you know that one in five women in the United States experiences completed or attempted rape during their lifetime? Additionally, more than 51 percent of female rape victims report being raped by an intimate partner and more than 40 percent of female rape victims report being raped by an acquaintance.
It is important to remember that men can be victims of rape as well. One in four male victims of completed or attempted rape first experienced it between the ages of 11 and 17.
Seventy percent of both male and female rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress. Also, a staggering 63 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
There are steps you can take to better prevent sexual violence.
- Being aware of situations that seem unsafe and could lead to harm
- Education and training
- Creating a safe space
- Supporting victims and survivors
If you or someone you know was affected by sexual violence, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
Learn how our forensic nurses and advocates team up to provide wrap-around care for victims of violence.