On Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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.

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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.

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One thought on “On Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  1. This is in reply to the article on sexual assault awareness. (The heading above this reply window says it’s about the “6 things I’m tired of hearing from young Republicans”, but nevertheless, I am commenting on the sexual assault article). I am 72; I was sexually assaulted in 1963, when I was in college. I answered my doorbell and an acquaintance from school pushed his way in past me and would not leave. He demanded sex. I refused. He tried force. I resisted. I physically fought him off for several hours, and then, exhausted, I simply caved and waited for him to finish and leave. I could not scream for help, and I could not report it, because I was the first female student ever to be allowed to live off campus, and I was a test case. If the incident had become known about, I would have been expelled from college I would have been blamed. No female after that would have been allowed to live off campus without supervision. Young women of today need to realize that it was different back then. It was 1963, but the mindset was still in the 1950s. Women were at fault. The guy would have gotten a slap on the wrist at most, and my life would have changed irrevocably. He probably does not even think, to this day, that what he did was a rape. He probably thinks of it as a seduction. To me, it was a rape. He was physically much stronger than I am, and he had a weapon. The weapon was the fact that I would be blamed and expelled, and my family was of limited means and I would never get a second chance in life. Young women of today are still experiencing sexual assault, but today, they have a voice. They have support from other women. It is no longer something to suffer over in silence. The problem still exists, but it is coming out into the light and is being seen, and solutions are in sight on the horizon. It is sad that it still exists in the 21st Century, but I see hope. There will always be a few rotten eggs, and they will do what they are going to do, but I see a possible end of public tolerance of that kind of behavior.

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