Sexual Assault and Why We Need To Talk About It
Health and Wellness

Sexual Assault and Why We Need To Talk About It

235
Sarah Soyster

I am not a victim of sexual assault. I am a sexual assault survivor.

But that doesn’t make me any less human. And it doesn’t make the estimated 321,795 other survivors of sexual assault in 2015 any less human either. I’m not here to ask for pity or to give a testimony. What I am here to do is tell you why this is a problem that we need to talk about. According to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), every 98 seconds an American was sexually assaulted in the year 2015. RAINN works to provide programs, services, and information to victims of sexual violence as well as their loved ones. They have information on various related topics such as what is classified as sexual assault, what your state’s laws are, and some of the effects of sexual assault. In the state of Pennsylvania, someone charged with sexual assault would be charged with a second-degree felony with up to 10 years of jail time. They could also be charged a fine of up to $25,000.

As for the survivor, they can be left with mental, physical, and emotional damage that they’ll have to deal with for the rest of their lives. These effects include but are not limited to: depression, self-harm, flashbacks, PTSD, eating disorders, STIs, pregnancy, substance abuse, sleep disorders, dissociation, and suicidal thoughts. The best option if you or someone you love has been assaulted it to seek help. If you’re worried about physical injury, going to the hospital is a good idea. While there, they can perform a sexual assault forensic exam, also known as a Rape Kit. This is a head-to-toe examination that will collect any DNA evidence. Even if you’re not concerned about any physical injury, this exam is still a good idea because it can provide crucial evidence should you choose to report the crime. In terms of the mental and emotional effects, calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) can help. They can connect you with a trained staff member from a local sexual assault service provider in your area. They will direct you to the appropriate local health facility. Some providers may even send a trained advocate to accompany you to your appointments.

If therapy isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other options. 7Cups is a great online therapy option, as is RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline and, in dire situations, the Crisis Text Line. All three of these sites are operated by volunteers (RAINN’s hotline is not run by volunteers) who are trained to help people who just need to talk it out. If talking isn’t your thing, maybe a coping box could be helpful. A coping box is exactly what it sounds like: a box or container of some sort packed with things that you can turn to when you’re having a bad day. It can contain anything that helps cheer you up, comforts you, or helps distract from the situation. Some common items to put in a coping box are coloring supplies, hard candy, play dough, a journal, calming music, and- depending on the size of the box- a warm blanket.

If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted, do not hesitate to seek help- legal or emotional. The aforementioned effects can be life altering but can be helped, whether through therapy or simply situational closure. And always remember that nobody is a victim, only a survivor. You will get past this and you will prosper.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxIKdnMHcGr/

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments