April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault is a crime that has no age limit on its victims. Youngest reported is just over a week old. Even women in their 90s aren’t off-limits. People with developmental disabilities have an increased risk of being abused. Some of these predators are complete strangers who just randomly select someone off the streets. Wrong place, wrong time.
According to statistics published by the National Sexual Violence Research Center, shockingly, 80% of the time, the victim knew the attacker. With children and teenagers, often it is a family member or trusted authority figure in the role of predator. They are rarely isolated incidents. In many instances, the assaults continue, sometimes for years. Leading to mental health issues, understandably. Adult women often report having been intimate with their attacker before the incident.
It doesn’t help that there is still a high Neanderthal quotient hanging around in society spouting such gems as “Rape can’t cause pregnancy”. A stupid notion first popularized in the 13th century by British legislators. The fact is that about 5% of rapes do result in pregnancy. In America, approximately 32,100 pregnancies occur as a result of sexual assault.
Many of the women didn’t discover the pregnancy until the second trimester. Of those, only 38% of the pregnancies are carried to term, with 6% of those being surrendered for adoption. 50% were terminated with an abortion. 12% resulted in a spontaneous abortion.
For all the parents whose daughters are getting ready to go to college, 1 in 5 women is sexually assaulted while in college. Arm them with the knowledge of how to protect themselves and avoid potentially dangerous situations.
- Buddy system. When going out, it is best to be in a group, and stay with your people.
- Keep doors and windows locked in your apartment. Don’t be in the laundry room at night alone.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. A lot of bad decisions are made when alcohol and drugs are involved. This is a big curiosity for a lot of students being away from home and having unexpected freedom for the first time. They don’t know their limits.
- Trust your instincts. If you have a bad feeling about a person or situation, listen to it and get out.
- If the worst happens and a situation that started out as fun gets out of hand, fight back. If they are not listening to your verbal protests, get physical. Aim for between the legs or a good eye gouge should get their attention.
I highly recommend you all read this article from the Charlotte, NC police department: https://police.charlotte.edu/safety/sexual-assault-prevention/reduce-risk-becoming-sexual-assault-victim
Just in case you need a little push, at one University, 63% of the men attending the University who self-reported acts of rape or attempted rape, reported that they did it repeatedly.
If you or a family member finds yourself in the group of the 38% of women who decided to carry the pregnancy to term, but you want justice as well, IPE Screening has a DNA Paternity test available that can be used in legal proceedings. No appointment is necessary.