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27: Sexual Assault Is Not Someone Else's Problem!

Therapy Chat

Release Date: 04/08/2016

Welcome! Trauma therapy became my passion after I volunteered at a Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Virginia in 2002. I received great counseling experience and went through extensive volunteer training before I became an employee. I learned a lot about trauma, and even though sexual assault is not something we like to talk about, it’s a common problem. Statistics show that one in four women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so let’s discuss this important topic.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Two types of sexual assault are Childhood Sexual Abuse (to be covered in a later episode) and Sexual Assault/Rape not involving a child. This is our focus today.
  • If you are assaulted, you have several options to consider:
    • Call a Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline. Visit the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network at www.rainn.org.
    • Most hospitals provide a forensic evidence exam at no cost to you, within 120 hours of the assault.
    • You have a personal choice to make: whether or not to report the assault to the police.
  • The victim should tell someone who will be supportive. Visit www.evawintl.org (End Violence Against Women International.) Check out their “Start by Believing” campaign.
  • The US military and most colleges/universities have separate options for reporting sexual assault.
  • Keep in mind that the civil legal process is another option outside the criminal investigation; a settlement can be obtained without bringing criminal charges.
  • The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Abuse (MCASA) is an outstanding resource for survivors.
  • Find a Sexual Assault Crisis Center Directory at www.centers.rainn.org.
  • There are some common reactions of victims following sexual abuse. Find a comprehensive list at www.musc.edu
  • There are many community events across the country in April to bring awareness to sexual assault. The events include The Clothesline Project, The Monument Quilt, www.vday.org, Take Back the Night, and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.