Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact that happens without the consent of the recipient. This can include rape, attempted rape, forced anal or oral sex, child molestation, incest, fondling, and coercing someone into sexual activity.
- Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault.
- Sexual assault occurs every 2 minutes in the US.
- 1 out of 6 women in the US are victims of attempted or completed rape.
- 1 out of 10 rape victims are male.
- The majority of sexual assaults occur at or near the victim’s home.
- Individuals ages 12-34 are at the highest risk of being sexually assaulted.
- Transgender students are at a higher risk of being sexually assaulted.
- About 70% of victims of rape/sexual assault experience moderate to severe distress, which is a larger percentage than for any other violent crime.
How to Help a Survivor
BELIEVE the victim, LISTEN to their story, and RESPECT their needs and the pace at which they move forward in their healing.
Some victims may not want to talk about what happened and that is okay. Encourage them to call us or seek support elsewhere, and let them know that you are there for them if they do want to talk. Know that you cannot force someone to seek support and being pushy might make them even less likely to talk about what happened. Recognize that they might not respond to the assault in the same way that you think you would respond. That is normal and it is important to not be critical of the choices made by the survivor while they try to figure things out.
Take care of yourself and be mindful about how you are impacted by this traumatic event. Trauma can be experienced by individuals who are close to the victims, even if they were not exposed to the traumatic event themselves. If you are feeling distressed about the event, consider counseling for yourself or call us to speak with an advocate about other ways to care for yourself. You will be more capable of supporting the survivor if you are able to work through your own stress about the event.