Sexual Assault occurs when a person uses control, force or pressure to make someone participate in unwanted sexual activity. One in four girls (24.7%) is sexually abused before the age of 18 and, One in six boys (16%) is sexually abused before the age of 18. Within the thousands of American teenagers who fall victim to sexual assault, majority of victims were attacked in familiar homes and neighbourhoods and by friends, family or someone trusted. Sexual assault causes a significant amount of emotional trauma and distress, and many victims do not have the voice to speak out and make a difference.
The question of how to help sexually assaulted young people has become quite a quandary. Majority of abused victims do not speak out and therefore cannot receive the help that they need, in some cases, the victim just does not have any sufficient evidence against their abuser. Silence is a sexual assault victims bestfriend. As victims are often abused by their own family it often becomes difficult for the victim tell anybody, as they are in close relation. It’s like sending your own family to jail. Victims often fear neglect by their own family or shame so they do not speak up. Helping young people in cases like this is more difficult than helping a person who has spoken out about what has happened to them, yet there are still positive and helpful ways you can help both types of victims overcome and grow from this traumatic experience.
Knowing exactly what sexual assault is considered to be, is fundamental to the development of how to help the victims of sexual assault heal, because without knowing exactly the types of seuxal assault and how to identify it, if it is happening or has happened, then you may not be qualified to help any victims as you will not know how to identify a sexual assault victim. Sexual assault is a general term that includes sexual harassment, unwanted sexual contact, child sexual abuse, incest and rape. Sexual harassment is defined as uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate. In order to differentiate between sexual harassment and harassment in different environments such as a workplace you must know how to identify the difference between the two, for example according to Alison Doyle examples of sexual harassment at the work would be: sharing sexually inappropriate pictures or videos, such as pornography, with co workers, sending suggestive letters, notes or emails, displaying inappropriate images or posters in the workplace, telling lewd jokes, or sharing sexual anecdotes, making inappropriate sexual gestures, staring in a sexually suggestive or offensive manner, or whistling, making sexual comments about appearance, clothing, or body parts, inappropriate touching including, pinching, patting, rubbing or purposefully brushing up against a person, asking sexual questions about someone’s sexual history or their sexual orientation, and makings offensive remarks about someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Sexual harassment includes any kind of unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that creates a hostile environment. Sexual contact is the intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with and intent to abuse, humiliate, harras, degrade, arouse, or gratify the sexual desire of any person. This becomes unwanted sexual contact when the touching is done to a person without his or her consent or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse, unwanted sexual contact can be perpetrated against a person or by making a person touch the perpetrator. In certain circumstances sexual contact an fall under the sexual harassment category. All sexual touching between an adult an a child is considered to be child sexual abuse, sexual touching between children when there is a large age difference is also considered as child sexual abuse or if the children are developmentally different or different in size. Sexual assault with a child does not have to include penetration, touching, unwanted force or pain, in fact any sexual behavior such as looking, showing or touching with a child to meet the adults interest or sexual needs is sexual assault. Or manufacure, distribution, or veiwing of childpornography is child sexual abuse.
Incest is also a form of sexual assault. Incest is the act of sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry. Incest is a form of sexual assault because a person can be victim of unwanted sexual contact from a family member which is considered also as incest. Incest can have a long lasting mental effect on a victim, this can cause traumatic damages. Rape is the most brutal form of sexual abuse and maybe the most mentally damaging in some cases.Rape is unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim. Rape can lead to trauma and long term mental damages. You do not have to look, dress, or act a certain way to be victim, of sexual assault, there is no possible way to stay away from sexual assault.
Sexual assault can happen to anyone but it is more likely to happen to younger females than it is to older people, in fact 82% of all victims under 18 are female, and females aged 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape. Additionaly one in four girls is sexully assaulted before the ge 18 and one in six boys is sexually assaulted before the age 18. Teenagers are more of a target to sexual assault assault than others. Young adults and youth who have been victimized are more likely to be sexually assaulted again in the future. Study have shown that 20 million out of 112 million women in the united states have been raped during their lifetime, about 35% of women who were raped as minors also were raped as adults, compared to 14% of women without an early rape history, 28% of male rae victims were raped when they were 10 years old or younger, approximately 1.
8 million teens in the united states have been a victim of sexul assault, 35.8% of sexul assaults occur when the victim is between the ages 12-17, 82% of all juvenile victims are female, and teen 10-19 years old were three and a half times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape attempted rape or sexual assault. People may make assumptions that sexual assault abusers may be strangers on the street, strangers you meet on line or even in a bar. Although yes, sexual abusers can possibly be someone you’ve recently met or just go acquainted with, out of 63,000 sexual abuse cases 80% of the perpetrators were a parent, 6% were other relatives, 5% were “other”, and 4% were .1unmarried partners of a parent. Also 74% of teen (13-17) sexual assault victims said that someone the knew well had assaulted them, Law enforcement cases have shown that 93% of the perpetrators are known to the victim, 7% are strangers, 59% acquaintance and, 34% are family members. Out of all the sexual abuse cases reported to CPS in 2015, 47,000 men and 5,000 women were the alleged predators. In 88% of the sexual abuse claims that CPS substantiate or find supporting evidence of, the Predator is male, in 9% of cases they are female, and 3% are unknown.
This concludes that not all sexual assault abuses are strangers majority of the abusers tend to be known people of the victim. There is not a specific age group that commits sexual assault, adults, young adults, and youth commit sexual violence. Studies have estimated that teens commit 20% of all rapes and 50% of all cases of child molestations a year, 17% of all the people arrested for sex crimes are teenagers. Sexual assault abusers come in all ages and from all relations there is no one specific age group or relation to the victim, in all cases the abuser is different, in most cases the abuser is known, and in some cases the abuser is young but all in all anyone can commit sexual assault.
As well as sexual assault victims having to handle the emotional distress of being sexually abused, they also have to handle the aftermath, which usually comes with mental trauma, depression, and all other things that may be long-term or short-term. Children and teens who have been victimized are often more likely to be a victim again in the future. Adults who have suffered from sexual abuse are more likely to show symptoms of drug abuse, and are likely to suffer from PTSD and major depressive episodes. PTSD is post-traumatic stress disorder, this develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. In some sexual assault cases the victim experiences insomnia maybe weeks or months after the attack. Insomnia is persistent problems falling asleep and staying asleep. As a victim of sexual assault the fear of what happened may keep you awake at night. Victims often abuse drugs as a stimulus to make themselves feel happy and forget the traumatic experience.
In some cases parents and family members may blame the victim for the attacks even though this may not be the case things like this do happen and victims do often get the backlash for the way they dress or how they present themselves, but despite the victims physical appearance if the victim did not give consent then it is still sexual assault and was not the victim’s fault. Rejection and disbelief is what causes victims to not want to speak out about their sexual assault, this is why many sexual assault cases have not been reported and makes it difficult to help treat those victims and need. Of the many sexual assault cases that come in to the authorities every year, It only makes up 30% and only 16% of rape cases are reported to law enforcement. Many victims do not find it necessary to report their case to law enforcement instead some decide that not reporting it will help them move on from their experience, some people may feel that the criminal justice system will re-victimize them in the process, make them feel like they have to relive the trauma over and over again.
some feel that the recovery centers and help services make them feel comfortable. The lack of reports makes measuring sexual assault cases difficult. that is no doubt in the national data that the majority of sexual assaults are never reported to the police. A victims relationship with the offender has a strong effect on the likelihood of the victim reporting the assault. when an offender is an intimate partner of former intimate partner, only 25% of sexual assaults are reported to the place. when an offender is a friend or acquaintance, only 18% to 40% of sexual assaults are reported. when an offender is a stranger, between 46% and 66% of sexual assaults are reported. Some victims may not report do to the fear of reprisal, personal matter, reported to a different official, not important enough to respondent, belief that the police will not do anything to help, belief that the police could not do anything to help, did not want to get the offender in trouble with the law, did not want the family to know, did not want others to know, not enough proof, fear of the justice system, did not know how, feel the crime was not “serious enough”, fear of lack of evidence, or unsure about the perpetrators intent.
Because of the partially low reporting rates, only 9% of all rapists are prosecuted, only 5% of cases lead to a felony conviction, and only 3% of rapists will spend a day in prison, unfortunately the other 97% get to work free. this is exactly why people who are sexually assaulted need guidance and help to heal and speak out about their problems because the more people who speak up the more abuses are locked away. The more people that speak up, the lower the percentage of teens and young adults sexually assaulted or raped. The more people that speak up increases the help and support that young adults, teens, and children can find to help them heal and recover from the experience of sexual assault. The more people that speak out the more awareness will be brought to the severity of sexual assault and rape because this is a big issue and not much is being done about it. The first battle of helping teen and young-adult sexual assault victims heal and recover is working on the relationship in the home.
Parents must become more aware of the high percentage of sexual assault cases that take place in the home or familiar areas, parents also need to be aware of the high percentage of family members that abuse children, teens, and young adults. In order to do this there must be programs put in place for parents and legal Guardians that teach them how to identify if a child is being abused, they must know basic signs of depression and if the child is traumatized. It may be difficult to tell when a teenager has been sexually assaulted but having a bond with your teenager and reassuring your teenager that he or she can communicate with you about anything is a little push for that team to want to share with you that they have been assaulted. As teens and young adults are so involved in social media that should be web ads, support pages, and people online who share that stories to help inspire youngers to do the same. Teens and young adults are so involved in YouTube if there are people on YouTube who have been through sexual assault and rape and can share that story for others to watch and learn from and be inspired, with links to support groups or help lines to encourage young adults and teens to get help and report the assault.
That would be a step in the right direction for getting teens and young adults the help that they need. More support groups need to be placed in communities and big cities, school counselors needs to be more supportive and involved with their students to help them feel comfortable to come and talk if it’s situation of sexual assault is happening, and young adults and teens also must be educated on how to safely help situation where they know that someone is being sexually assaulted or is sexually abusing somebody else. Also sexual assault numbers and statistics need to be placed around schools and on social media to build awareness. Following the act of sexual violence comes trauma for young people who have been victimized and traumatized.
As sexual assault bring along emotional trauma long and short term, parents or carers must be able to pick up on sudden behavior changes in teens , and young adults and teens must find the help and support they need to recover and heal. Raising awareness, support groups and giving victims a chance to bond with other victims about their trauma engages them to overcome their traumatic experience and make a difference for the next person.