April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Use your voice to support survivors and say “No More to Sexual Assault”.

The call came in at 1:18 am to tell me that I was to report to a Sexual Assault Nurses Exam (S.A.N.E.) at the hospital. As I was quietly getting dressed my thoughts were on the sexual assault survivor, a young woman who lived in our area. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy night for her. I hurried to the ER where the assault victim was already in a hospital gown waiting for her exam. Tears streamed down her face, her hair was a mess, bruises were starting to form under her eye and around her neck. She had no one in the area to call as she lay there recounting her rape. The man who assaulted her on her way to her car after her work shift was a customer that came in often to the restaurant where she worked. My heart broke for all she went through and all that she would need to deal with moving forward. This was just the start of a long road to recovery.

In a report published by FiveThirtyEight.com on January 2, 2018, it was determined by survey that out of 100 sexual assault incidents, 84 were reported by women and 16 were reported by men. Most research on sexual violence focuses on male perpetrators and female victims, though the NCVS estimates that men were victims of over 51,000 incidents of rape or sexual assault last year. Out of 100 incidents surveyed, 33 reported being in an intimate relationship with the offender, 39 reported being attacked by an acquaintance and 19 reported not knowing their attacker. Surprisingly, out of 100 incidents 77 were NOT reported to the police. Many list fear of not being believed, self-blame and concerns about how the justice system will handle the incident as reasons for remaining silent. The main reason for not reporting a sexual assault to the police is fear of reprisal or the fact that they consider the event a private matter.

For more information and tips for talking with survivors of sexual assault go to www.rainn.org/articles/tips-talking-survivors-sexual-assault or contact Community Referral Agency, a temporary shelter for survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence and their families located in Milltown, WI, at crashelter.org.

Submitted by: Community Referral Agency / “Healthy Minute” is brought to you by healthyburnett.org


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