Sexual assault is not just something that happens to other people.
Of the 8 women writing this editorial, 5 have been sexually assaulted or raped.
We are not an exceptional group of women.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been victim of rape in America. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have been victim of sexual assault other than rape. 64 percent of transgender people are victims of sexual assault, and 9 of 10 rape and sexual assault victims are women.
We are often told that sexual assault and rape is our fault: We shouldn’t have worn that dress, we should have known better than to walk alone in that part of town, we shouldn’t have let our guard down. We are told that it is our fault, that we are asking for it and even that we should be flattered.
We think that is bullshit.
Victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression, 6 times more likely to suffer from PTSD, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 more likely to abuse drugs and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.
Trying to convince people that sexual assault is something they should care about has been the goal of many strong women we know. “It could happen to your mother, your sister, your friend,” we’ve heard. But it shouldn’t have to happen to your mother, your sister or your friend for it to be an issue you care about and strive to correct.
There is an attack on women worldwide, and the U.S. is no exception.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Bottle Magazine will be publishing a series of articles throughout the month addressing sexual assault from various angles. We hope that in some small way we can be a part of the solution in ending sexual assault, and that you too will stand with us, this month and always.