Rape - You are not alone.
Rape: "is forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object."
Sexual Assault: is unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling. (Please note: this term is sometimes used interchangeably with rape.)
Hearing the word "rape" and "sexual abuse" have become more popular terms than ever before. Some of it has to do with the rapidly growing movements where survivors are becoming more empowered to speak up and talk about their experience(s). Another part has to do with the ease of social media and Hollywood being able to make it a now, 'societal acceptable thing' to talk about.
Previously, and still to some degree today, 'rape culture' has created this ill illusion that rape is normal and that it is the victims fault. In consequence has forbid those victims from speaking up, reporting it or telling anyone they feel close to.
Yet, there are statistics that the media, the news and people do not like talking about...
Based on research that was done through the YWCA, a non-profit organization that serves (annually an estimated 980,000) women and children who have been victim(s) to violence, state many unadvertised facts about child sexual abuse.
93% of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser. Typically their abusers come within their family (parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, etc) or people who are closest to them (babysitters, close family friends, childhood friends older siblings, etc).
Close to 70% of all reported sexual assaults happen to children that are younger than 17 years old.
1 out of every 4 girls & 1 out of every 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.
More than 1/3 of women who have been raped as a child, also experience rape as an adult.
Those that have been sexually abused as a child will have a lifetime impact on survivors.
Why is this important? Well, because if you are reading this and you have experienced this unforgettable trauma, you need to know.. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Too often I hear clients tell me "I just feel alone. No one understands me". Truth is, it is rare to find people that are willing and wanting to talk about it with you. Not because they do not care about you, but they do not know how to respond.
Here in Utah, it was reported that in 2017, the number of reported rapes increased by more than 11%, than the previous year. With this frequency of an increase, it estimates to mean that a raped had occurred every 6.25 hours.
In February 2020, it was reported that Utah's state percentage of sexual assault was at 55.5 per 100,000 people. Which puts the state ranked at #11 nationwide. Although, Utah has been consistently top 5 ranked for many years in the past, it seems that our numbers are dropping. However, at the time the original report was published it was noted that Utah Crime Lab received over 120 rape kits each month and over 1,900 victims were waiting their results.....
Lifetime Impact, what does that mean?
This means that from the time(s) that the abuse happened, that child has been hanging on to the emotional and physical, pain and hurt since. Weighing them down in ways that they do not consciously realize. Some of these lifelong effects that are symptoms of their abuse are:
Feelings of Inadequacy
All of this information is for you to get a general sense of how common (heartbreakingly) rape really is. More women than you probably realize are going through what you have gone through. They are sitting there just as alone and isolated as you may feel.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from the long term side effects of sexual abuse or rape. Or if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted. Please reach out. Get help. Ask questions.
RAINN: The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network has a free, 24 Hour hotline, that you are able to call (800-656-HOPE) or message.
Rape Recovery Center: *Local here in Utah* They do free rape assessments, will come support you at the hospital and have many services to help give survivors the help they need. They also have. a 24/7 Hour Crisis Line that survivors can call and seek guidance (801-467-7273).
Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA): Their goal is to put an end entirely to sexual abuse. They have many resources and programs for survivors. Including information on how to get access to a rape test and how to track your test within the system. Their crisis number for support is (888-421-1100).
There are also many trauma therapists who specialize in sexual abuse. Search for one in your area by calling your private insurance company or use online search tools such as PsychologyToday.