#changethedialogue Rape Awareness Month

Today is the first day of April: Rape and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  I have started a campaign called #changethedialogue, to help empower victims of all types of rape.  If we change the way we talk about rape/sexual assault/molestation, we can legitimize the pain suffered by the wounded.  You may not have had this experience in your life, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t help.  1 in 5 women in America has been the victim of rape, ONE in FIVE.  Look around you right now.  Look around your office, the Starbucks, the school parking lot, your living room.

How can we start to change the dialogue?  We can educate ourselves.  Victims like myself want to talk, but we’re afraid, ashamed, and scared.  Here are ten facts about sexual assault that may shed some light on the topic, and help ease the fear about discussing rape:

  • Many surveys have been conducted to determine the prevalence and incidence of rape and sexual assault. The differences in findings across these various surveys are related to how rape and sexual assault are defined…
  • 1 out of every 5 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Among all victims, about nine out of ten are female.
  • Rank of U.S. in the world for rape: 13th
  • Percentage of rapists who are never incarcerated: 97 percent
  • Acquaintance rape is much more prevalent than stranger rape.
  • Approximately 1 in 20 women and men (5.6% and 5.3%, respectively) experienced sexual violence other than rape, such as being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, or non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, in the 12 months prior to the survey
  • Rape results in about 32,000 pregnancies each year.
  • Rape victims often experience anxiety, guilt, nervousness, phobias, substance abuse, sleep disturbances, depression, alienation, sexual dysfunction, and aggression. They often distrust others and replay the assault in their minds, and they are at increased risk of future victimization
  •  73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
  •  A female child victim is 7 times more likely to be re-victimized as an adult

 

With your help, we can #changethedialogue, and push this important topic into the limelight.  For our daughters.  Our sisters.  Our mothers, roommates, cousins, co-workers, and just as important: our sons, brothers, and more.

Please post/tweet/IG/ your support of #changethedialogue with your story, your endorsement, or the name of a friend that you stand behind (initials are ok). For example:

1. J, I stand by you, and will help #changethedialogue

2. I was raped, and I want to #changethedialogue

3. Join me and try to #changethedialogue

4. I changed my profile picture to #changethedialogue

You can print out the picture at the bottom of the post and take a photo with it, like I’ve done. There’s also a Facebook group and an event page that you can join and invite your friends.

#changethedialogue Rape Awareness Month

 

I invite you to check out a fantastic page, created by a victim of rape, called My Imperfect Rape, where visitors can post their stories anonymously.  Or, please visit a woman that’s holding my hand, and braving this journey with me, Three Boys and a Mom, and helping me #changethedialogue

 #changethedialogue Rape Awareness Month

 

SOURCES: http://www.911rape.org/facts-quotes/statisticshttp://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/SV-DataSheet-a.pdf, http://www.rccmsc.org/resources/get-the-facts.aspxhttp://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html, http://www.crisisconnectioninc.org/sexualassault/rapestatistics.htm
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