By: Kendall Zuniga
Every 68 seconds a person becomes a victim of sexual assault or rape in the U.S. On average 463,634 victims are ages 12 and older, 1 in every 6 women and 1 in every 33 men are victims. These numbers are continuing to go up at rapid speeds each year and victims are becoming much younger as time passes.
The effects of being sexually assaulted can really damage a persons mindset and body. Many victims of assault develop things like PTSD, depression and anxiety. When these things are triggered many effects can cause the victim to be sent into a spiral.
Feeling like you are losing control of your life or your mind, re-experiencing assault over and over again through flashbacks, problems concentrating and staying focused on the task at hand, guilty feelings, and developing a negative self-image; feeling “dirty” inside or out are just a few examples of how sexual assault can deeply effect a victim.
When those who go through a traumatic experience like this, they tend to not speak up about the occurrence/s with the fear of not being believed or feeling like no one will understand what they went through. When you don’t speak up about an assault, you’re at risk of having these effects occur as well as putting other potential victims in harm’s way.
What do I do if I or someone I know has been sexually assaulted? Don’t be afraid to speak up if this has happened to you, speak to a trusted parent, guardian, or friend about the occurrence. Multiple helplines can be found all over the internet and local health offices, listed below are a few of the many help lines.
You are not alone and you do not have to go through this alone.
RAINN helpline: 800-656-HOPE(4673)
NSVRC helpline: 844-303-SAFE(7233)
AVP helpline: 212-714-1141