Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

 

Can we get serious for a moment? I want to take a minute to recognize that this is Sexual Assault Awareness month. 

Sadly, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will experience sexual assault in their lifetime according to the CDC. It's a frightening statistic compounded by things like victim shaming, social stigma, and lack of reporting. It needs to stop, and that starts with awareness, reporting, and victim support.

 

BDSM Isn't Sexual Assault.

Although to the untrained eye, BDSM may seem like glorified sexual assault. However, that couldn't be farther from the truth. When consenting adults engage in BDSM, it is an act of trust and love. There are always (or should be) clear boundaries, called limits, in which the play does not cross. Should one partner cross this forbidden threshold, the other uses a safe word that halts all activity.

Like Banana, Aparagus Bum Dragon, Red or STOP. It's part of the primary tenets of BDSM. Safe, Sane, Consensual.

When consent is violated during any sexual act, whether in BDSM or 'vanilla' life, it becomes assault.

Some people may have experienced sexual assault and haven't even fully comprehended what occurred. This is a regular occurrence with sexual trauma, and is nothing to be ashamed of. 

 

No matter what you wore, or how you acted. Assault is assault, and it's not your fault.

 

Sexual assault includes:

  • Being forced to watch porn when you don't want to.
  • being touched in a sexual manner against your will, regardless of the place you were touched.
  • Being prevented from using protection such as condoms during intercourse.
  • Having any object or body part inserted into your vagina, mouth, anus, or penis against your will.

 

Please remember that in order to give consent for sexual contact you must be coherent, alert, and not intoxicated in any manner. If you are pressured, intimidated, threatened, or revoked your consent at any time and the activity continued, it's assault.

If you've been sexually assaulted, please know that you are not alone, and you are NOT at fault. No matter what you wore, or how you acted. Assault is assault, and it's not your fault.

There are resources for sexual assault victims, free of charge. They range from simply talking to a empathetic ear to legal help.

 

What to do if you or someone you know was assaulted.

If you believe you have been sexually assaulted, or you know someone that was sexually assaulted, please contact the police and report it! By reporting your assault, you help to keep others safe, breaking the chain of violence. 

Never victim shame. It doesn't matter who wore what or whom flirted with who. Sexual Assault is illegal regardless of clothing, skin color, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual preference, or religion.

Get yourself, or the person whom has been assaulted to a safe place. Write down as many details as you can remember, such as the time it occurred, where it took place, and who was present. This will help the reporting process and further the investigation into your assailant. 

No matter how much you may want to, do not shower or 'clean up' until after you have contacted the police. Washing after being sexually assaulted removes valuable evidence that may help catch and prosecute your assailant. 

After you have reported your sexual assault, seek support. Victims of sexual assault often experience anxiety and depression. Joining support groups, talking to a trusted friend, or seeking a mental health expert will help you heal and regain your confidence. 

 

Here are some additional resources:

 

 

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