In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I felt like it was necessary to remind people that sexual assault victims are survivors. Not every sexual assault fits into a mold — each person has their own unique story that deserves to be heard. However, it can be hard to speak up as someone who has experienced sexual assault. I have chosen, to honor sexual assault awareness month and all of its survivors by stating 10 facts about sexual assault that I feel aren't spoken about enough.
1. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
The whole month of April is dedicated to sexual assault awareness. Wear teal this month to honor and support those you know or do not know who are victims of sexual assault.
2. Consent can be withdrawn
Many instances of sexual assault happen because one individual does not fully consent. Many people do not understand that consent can be taken away even during the action taking place. Understanding what consent is and means is something everyone should learn about and fully understand before involving themselves with someone else.
3. The majority of sexual assaults are committed by someone the person knows
75 percent of sexual assaults are committed by somebody the person knows. This important in understanding truly what consent between two individuals means — even if you are in a relationship, sexual assault can occur when consent is not present.
4. Alcohol does not indicate consent
When individuals drink, it impairs their judgment. Oftentimes, consent can not be given in that case and that is when an incident occurs. Drinking never makes it okay to not ask for consent. .
5. Men experience sexual assault, too
1 in 6 men experience sexual assault and 81 percent of males are likely to report that they have been sexually assaulted. Not all sexual assaults happen to women, they can happen to men, too.
6. Clothing does not define consent
What a person is wearing does constitute consent. Just because someone is wearing an outfit considered more scandalous does not give anyone the right to assume they want anything sexual.
7. Most rapes go unreported
Nearly 77 percent of rapes will go unreported. Survivors of sexual assault can experience PTSD after such an experience. It can be hard for them to report because they do not want to get anyone in trouble. Some will fear reprisal because of the actions done to them.
8. The majority of victims are in college
The majority of sexual assault victims fall within the age category of college students. Every 21 hours, someone is sexually assaulted on a college campus. The majority of colleges offer programs to teach students about what consent is especially around alcohol.
10. False reports are very rare
False reports of sexual assault are very rare. If someone you know tells you something has happened to them take them seriously. Offer them ways to get help for them and always believe them.
10. There is a hotline
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted and you are not sure what to do or if you are someone struggling with what happened to you there is a sexual assault hotline. The number is 1-800-656-4673 and connects you directly to a trained RAINN staff member in sexual assault services. the hotline is 100 percent confidential. Do not ever feel like you have to struggle through it alone get yourself help because you are a survivor, not a victim.