THE DANGER OF SPEAKING OUT
Recently, there has been a greater support of those that have been assaulted in this manner once they speak out. In some instances, victims are not even aware that they have been sexually assaulted. Sexual assault can fall under a few different categories, including unwanted touching and fondling, attempted rape, and forcing someone to perform sexual acts. When these types of acts occur, it is important to notify authorities to remove the violator from the outside world so no one will become a victim.
In the United States, someone is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds and only 5 out of 1000 perpetrators are imprisoned. In many situations there are more women that can relate to sexual harassment or assault than not. A majority of women that are assaulted are between the ages of 16-19. Women that are between the ages of 18-24 that are enrolled into a college are 3 times more likely to be a victim of sexual violence as compared to a woman that is not (from RAINN/Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network www.rainn.org).
Today sexual assault victims have more support than ever, there is hundreds of support groups all around the United States. The National Sexual Assault Hotline has helped over 3 million victims since 1994 when it was created (from RAINN/Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network www.rainn.org). When these accusations are made toward celebrities or those of a high profile, it is often downplayed or not believed. That’s why active support groups are so important to our society. The #Metoo movement is a great example of women supporting other women in regard to sexual assault.
#Metoo was founded by Tarana Burke in the year of 2006 to bring awareness to those that have been assaulted. This movement has allowed and given courage to many women to speak out against violators. #Metoo was just the beginning of other hashtags being used to fight the same cause. #Timesup is very similar to the #Metoo movement, except it is fighting against sexual harassment in the workplace. These support groups have given women strength, and it shows that they too are superheroes.
Sexual assault is an issue that should always be brought to the forefront. Spreading awareness and educating about this subject is key. Many women wonder who will protect them once they tell their story. The answer is this: those who have fallen victim to violators, support groups, authorities, and relatives. Just because a victim will be ridiculed or insulted does not mean that they should keep their stories hidden.
Healing from sexual assault takes time, and it will not happen overnight. There may be many bad days instead of good. The very first step to recovering from sexual trauma is opening up about what happened. Taking this very first step will give someone the courage to continue to heal.