Sexual Assault and Why We Need To Talk About It
Start writing a post

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.
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

271979
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

172953
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

81820
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

277837

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

166300

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

110289
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection

331762

Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

50 Iconic Quotes From 'The Golden Girls' That Will Always Make You Laugh

"People waste their time pondering whether a glass is half empty or half full. Me, I just drink whatever's in the glass."

441423

"The Golden Girls" created history when it first premiered in 1985 setting the stage of strong-willed female characters who are aging gracefully with dignity. It is a treasure trove filled with humorous scenes and situations that will always be relevant to watch. I still rejoice in watching these spectacular women embrace life with full stride and the way they always strive to focus on the brighter side of life.

These 4 dynamic and awe-inspiring women taught us that age is indeed nothing more than a number and that we can set out to accomplish anything our heart desires at any time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments