Did you know that April is Sexual Assault Awareness month? I know, sad that we have to have a month dedicated to such a thing. It is sad, because sexual assault is completely preventable. We have a month dedicated to building awareness. Why build awareness?
Because 1 in 6 American women report being sexually assaulted or have had an attempt made in their lifetime. Almost the same number as report being stalked.
46% of stalking victims experienced 1 or more violent incidents with their partner, with 81% of women reporting being sexually assaulted by their stalker.
Because 30% of sexual assaults go unreported.
Because "Prosecutions and convictions for stalking are low especially when they are compared to the estimated number of stalking cases" Intimate Partner Stalking: Criminal Justice Response
Because a Rainn Analysis report shows that "97 out of 100 Rapists receive no punishment"
Do those statistics terrify and overwhelm you? They should. We are suffering from a social epidemic, and the need for awareness is greater than ever!
I recently read a horrible story on Facebook about a young girl who was being harassed by another student by being asked out every single day. Her stalker brought a gun to school and told her that if she did not date him, then he would kill her. When students were polled, they blamed the girl for the incident. If she had simply given him a chance then it wouldn't have led to this.
Sadly, there are so many stories similar to this one. In my own experience, there were teachers and school officials who suggested that I give him a chance because he was "a nice boy, but not very good and expressing his feelings."
I had one assistant principal who asked me if I had slept with him. My first reaction was humiliation at being asked such a question. 1. I was a virgin and had never had sex. 2. It implied that somehow his behavior was my fault. 3. Even if I had been intimate with him, his behavior was not ok and yet she did nothing.
Even with laws changing, those enforcing the laws, and those sitting on juries have not changed their mind sets. As long as the victims remain silent, or believe that there is nothing that they can do. As long as police officers do not act, or blame the victim, as long as society continues to not convict these behaviors will not change.
University of Utah did a great video: It's On Us
which demonstrates some of the attitudes that we need to change as a society before we can begin to see those stats change.
Be the change you want to see. That is why I am publishing the Hell School Series. I realized that things were not getting better. I had ignorantly thought that because laws were changing, and because I had not experienced it lately, that the world was changing. I was wrong.
Have you talked to your children about this? Have you talked to your friends?
Do you have a story you want to share? Help raise awareness and share with us.
Until next time,
Keep Sharing and Keep Reading!