Sexual Assault

 

IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
Sexual assault is an act of violence, not sex.  It is a crime
and the victim is never to blame.

No one deserves to be a victim.
You did NOTHING to cause this to happen.
Sexual assaults can happen to anyone
!


SEXUAL ASSAULT is any sexual activity involving a person who does not or cannot consent.  It may be many things, including:
 ~Rape
 ~Sexual contact (touching and/or grabbing)
 ~Exposing
 ~Sexual abuse of children
 ~Incest
 ~Sexual harassment
 ~Sexual exploitation of clients by professionals

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT is a form of sexual violence. Like rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment is not a sexually motivated act. It is an assertion of hostility, power and dominance, expressed in a sexual manner to intimidate or frighten another person.


AS A VICTIM/SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, YOU MAY HAVE SOME OF THE FOLLOWING FEELINGS...
~Anger
~Guilt
~Fear
~Loss of control
~Powerlessness
~Embarrassment       
~Depression
~Isolation
~Denial
~Shame
~Disbelief
~Self-blame
~Emotional shock


Myths and Facts About Sexual Assault


MYTH: Most sexual assaults occur between strangers.

FACT: While these are the stories that are most likely to make the news, stranger assaults are statistically the rarest kind of sexual assault. The US Department of Justice cites that 70% of all sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. In Minnesota, 93% of the victims who used advocacy services were assaulted by someone known to them such as a friend, family member, co-worker, date, or neighbor. (Office of Justice Programs, 2001 data.) Often, "prevention" efforts aimed at children and youth focus on stranger danger. While stranger assaults do happen, it is far more likely that an assailant is not a stranger to the victim.

 

MYTH: A person cannot be sexually assaulted by his or her partner or spouse.

FACT: Sexual assault is a crime regardless of the relationship between the victim and offender. In Minnesota, as in most other states, an ongoing sexual relationship does not preclude a partner or spouse from committing or being charged with sexual assault. The issue is not the relationship, but whether and how force is used. However, victims of intimate partner assault are less likely to report the assault for fear that they will not be believed or because of their emotional investment in the relationship. There is no reason to believe that assault by an intimate partner is somehow easier to experience or "get over." In fact, sexual assault by an intimate partner may result in increased emotional impact and a heightened sense of violation and betrayal causing the victim to lose trust in others and in his or her own judgment.

 

MYTH: Some people ask to be sexually assaulted by their behavior or the way they dress.

FACT: This is one of the most prevalent and powerful myths. It asks us to find the cause of assault in the victim's behavior or choices. No one asks or wants to be raped or assaulted, just as no one asks to have their car stolen, even if they forget and leave the keys in the ignition, be robbed or hit by a drunk driver. Sexual assault is always the responsibility of the perpetrator and never the responsibility of the victim. While some behaviors we choose may put us at some risk, they are only risky when there are offenders who are ready to take advantage of someone who is vulnerable. How someone dresses, where they go, what they do, or who they are in a relationship with is never justification for sexual assault.


MYTH: Men who sexually assault boys are gay. Therefore, gay men should not be allowed to be teachers, coaches or Boy-Scout leaders.

FACT: This myth fuels homophobia in our society. In fact, studies indicate that the majority of males who assault boys are heterosexual and have regular consenting adult sexual partners. It is important to remember that sexual assault is less about sexual contact and more about gaining control over or overpowering another

 

 

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