Hello again to all returning readers and welcome to those who are reading for the first time! This is the official blog for Life & Wellness Counseling and Consulting and we are glad that you’re here.
Last week, we ended our series on the 5 Facets of Health and this week our blog post was supposed to discuss the topic of Goal Setting. However, due to overwhelming requests, we decided to blog about the topic of Sexual Violence. Be sure to check-in with us weekly because life is beautiful!
Life & Wellness is attempting to bring more awareness to the issue of sexual violence, by providing education surrounding the topic and offering local and national resources. Before we explore the meat of this topic, we want to define a few terms that will be used repeatedly in this blog post. The first term is sexual violence. Sexual violence is any sexual act committed against an individual, without that individual’s consent. Sexual violence encompasses sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual touching or groping. Sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks. Finally, rape is any unwanted sexual penetration including, vaginal, oral or anal penetration.
Each year in the US, there are 293,000 victims of sexual assault however, 63% of all sexual assaults nationwide, go unreported. The reasons behind non-reporting are numerous. Most victims feel that authorities will not believe them. Others fear having to repeat the horrors of their encounters to various individuals. Some victims are too embarrassed and overcome by the stigma behind having been sexually assaulted, harassed or even raped. Because of these fears, some victims hesitate to reach out for the proper help and are never able to make the transition from victim to survivor. The majority of individuals believe that victims of sexual violence have to be female. This is not the case.
[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="_x0000_s1026" type="#_x0000_t75" style='position:absolute; margin-left:266.1pt;margin-top:0;width:206pt;height:164.65pt;z-index:-1' wrapcoords="-79 0 -79 21502 21600 21502 21600 0 -79 0"> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\Users\vmcoo\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.jpg" o:title="men"></v:imagedata> <w:wrap type="tight"></w:wrap> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif]1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused in the US before the age of 18. This statistic proves that females are not the only targets for predators and perpetrators. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college. The epidemic of rape on college campuses is becoming more prevalent with every passing day. Rape on college campuses has become such a “taboo” subject and only recently have college campuses began to take steps to #EndRapeOnCampus. Some victims of sexual violence are targeted because they are seen as different or their lifestyles are “non-conforming” to the societal norms.
46% of lesbians, 74% of bisexual women, and 43% of heterosexual women reported sexual violence during their lifetime, while 40% of gay men, 47% of bisexual men, and 20% of heterosexual men reported sexual violence during their lifetime. These statistics show that heterosexual women are not the only victims of sexual violence. A growing number of individuals from the LGBTQ community are victims of some form of sexual violence. In addition to bringing awareness to the subject of sexual violence, we are also urging more people to become advocates for those who have suffered from some form of sexual violence. We are also advocating for survivors to reach out for support and to seek counseling to help regain control over their emotional state. Below, you will find resources and links for additional information. Local survivors who need support can also contact Life & Wellness.
Survivor Stories: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/local/sexual-assault/
Additional Resources: https://www.rainn.org/national-resources-sexual-assault-survivors-and-their-loved-ones