Sexual Assault Awareness

How to Handle the Issue of Sexual Assault

April is sexual assault awareness month. Anyone, regardless of age, racial or cultural background, gender identity/ expression, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status are potential victims. Make no mistake, sexual violence happens when consent is not freely given. A Matter of Consent According to the CDC: More than 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 4 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact at some point in their lives. Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experienced completed or attempted rape in their lifetimes. Why are the numbers so high? Because our society has accepted subconscious truths about what is and is not considered sexual assault for too long. To put it simply, sexual assault happens when there is a lack of consent. This encompasses instances where the victim is unable to give consent or was presented with a scenario where they could not “refuse” including: Victim’s age, illness, mental or physical disability Victim was asleep or unconscious Victim was too intoxicated (e.g., incapacitation, lack of consciousness, or lack of awareness) through their voluntary or involuntary use of alcohol or drugs Victim was threatened with violence via possession of guns or other non-bodily weapons...

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