Because over 60% of sexual assaults go unreported. Because 1 in 6 women will be victims. Because 1 in 33 men will be victims. Because some studies show more than 52% of individuals in LGBT relationships experience sexual violence. Beacause it can happen to anyone.
Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the day that a stranger appeared suddenly in my life and changed the trajectory of my future. He and I are not celebrating this anniversary with a romantic dinner, a getaway weekend, or love-making. He and I do not even know each other. He probably doesn’t commemorate the first and last time we met like I do. I’m sure he has not lost sleep over thinking about me, is not haunted by my memory – I may even just have been one of many for him, but I will never know.
Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the day that a stranger raped me.
Alcohol and drugs do not cause sexual abuse and that’s probably one of the most controversial things I feel like I have said in all of this. People’s basic values don’t change when they’re high or drunk. That I may drink and sing karaoke in a bar, but I don’t drink and hit my child, I don’t drink and kick my dog. That I may do some things that I don’t have the courage to do such as, you know, singing karaoke, that I don’t otherwise, but I’m not going to go out and roll down my window and yell racial epithets when I’m drunk. To say that people suddenly have a completely different value system on what is right or wrong, we have to be really careful about that.
Many disorder behaviors are a direct consequence of trauma. Some of the disorders caused by sexual violence include Rape Trauma Syndrome,(PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and eating disorders (ED). It is estimated that almost 30% to 40% of eating disorder patients are survivors of sexual trauma.
Myth: Sexual assault is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of passion. The victim isirresistible to the rapist.
Rape is an act of violence, not of sexual desire. The majority of rapes are planned: the place arranged, enticement used, or the victim deliberately sought and coerced into sexual relations.It is the vulnerability of the victim that attracts the sexual predator. Victims range from infants to the elderly. Anyone, regardless of age, sex, physical appearance, marital status,ethnic, religious or socio-economic background can be raped.Get the full list here (PDF)
In introducing legislation that prevents the destruction of records relating to sex crimes, Iowa congressman cites a report that 23% of women in combat areas are victimized. TELEGRAPH HERALD
Congressman Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at helping victims of sexual trauma and assault in the military.
The Support for Survivors Act would require the U.S. Department of Defense to ensure life-long storage of all documents connected with reports of sexual assaults and sexual harassment across the military branches. The legislation also would prevent the military from destroying any records relating to sexual assault.
“The men and women who serve our country need to know that their government is standing up for them,” said Braley. “Just earlier today, I heard testimony from Linda Schwartz, the president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. She cited reports showing that 23 percent of women serving in combat areas report being victims of sexual assault perpetrated by other members of the military. That’s simply unacceptable, and we cannot allow it to continue.”
On April 4, Vice President Joe Biden addressed Sexual Violence in a speech at the University of New Hampshire. Biden shared the experiences of Jenny (not her real name), a college freshman who was raped last year, New Hampshire Public Radio reported:
He said she’d been drinking at a party. And when she sought justice through the school, she was asked what she was wearing, how she was dancing, and whether she was sober.
“The student judicial panel said they didn’t find Jenny credible because she had been drinking. They decided her rapist was a nice kid and didn’t deserve the punishment under the circumstances,” Biden said….
But whether someone is drunk or sober doesn’t matter. As Biden put it, “Look folks – rape is rape is rape.”..
That’s one message that Biden hit hard: “Look guys – no matter what a girl does, no matter how she’s dressed, no matter how much she’s had to drink, it’s never, never, never, never OK to touch her without her consent. This doesn’t make you a man. It makes you a coward.”
For those who would like to create their own Satellite SlutWalk— from the Toronto SlutWalk site
SlutWalk Toronto started from a position of feeling like we’d had enough – enough of being angry, wanting better education, awareness and treatment and not seeing more about it; it was out of frustration with police services continuing myths and stereotypes about who is sexually assaulted and why. In organizing SlutWalk Toronto we worked on uniting people across diverse populations; contacted several organizations that we felt could be our allies; we contacted media to get attention and spread the word; we asked for volunteers and worked on making t-shirts, buttons and posters. To say the least we planned ahead for our April 3rd event.
Toronto attendance is not feasible for everyone. So we’ve set up some basic guidelines for Satellite SlutWalks, and if we think that a good match has been made, we will promote your event on our site. We would prefer that Satellite SlutWalks occur after the date of our main event on April 3rd in order to have as many supporters as possible, but understand if that is not possible.