Each April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month aims to raise public awareness about sexual assault and provide education on how to prevent it.
“According to RAINN statistics, every 107 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. Nearly one in four women may experience sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime,” said CPN Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinator, Amanda Chapman. “One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually assaulted by the age of 18 and eight of ten rape cases, the victim knew the perpetrator.”
While someone cannot completely protect themselves from sexual assault there are things one can do to reduce the risk of being assaulted.
They may include:
- When going to a social gathering, go with a group of friends.
- Trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t leave your drink unattended.
- Don’t accept drinks from unknown people.
- Watch out for friends and vice versa.
- Try to avoid isolated areas.
- Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags.
- Avoid putting music headphones in both ears if walking alone.
- Make sure to have a cell phone.
- Think of an escape route.
- Have a code word with friends or family if on the phone and you are in an uncomfortable situation.
If one finds themselves a victim, Chapman suggests contacting a local law enforcement agency or the national sexual assault hotline at 800-656-HOPE. It is also important victims seek medical attention and write down all the details from the attack.
“I think that sexual assault awareness month is a great way of raising the profile of sexual assault issues and educating the public,” said Chapman. “But I think that everyone should continue working to eliminate sexual assault throughout the year.”
Each of us can take action by lifting up survivors we know and breaking the silence surrounding rape and sexual assault.
“You have the power to make a difference,” added Chapman.
For more information please contact House of Hope at (405) 275-3176 or the National Sexual Assault hotline at 800-656-HOPE.