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Sexual Assault Program: Creating Hope

Victims of Sexual Assault can be adults or children, male or female.
It can happen to anyone.
24 Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-800-451-9235

 

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assaultis any involuntary sexual actin which a person is threatened,coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented. This includesrape, groping, forcedkissing,child sexual abuse, or thetortureof the victim in a sexual manner.

Emotional Effects

As a survivor of sexual assault you may experience one or more of the following emotional reactions:

  • You may believe you allowed the sexual assault to happen.
  • You may feel guilty because you think you did not do enough to fight off your attacker.
  • You may feel angry and take it out on those you love.
  • You may feel afraid that your attacker will come back.
  • You may feel ashamed of what has happened to you.
  • You may feel unclean, even after bathing.

Behavioral Effects

These feelings may change your behavior.

  • You may not be able to sleep or you may have nightmares.
  • You may find your eating habits changing.
  • You may not be able to resume your normal sexual relationship with the one you love.

Sexual Assault Affects

Adults

  • 1 out of 3 women can expect to be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.
  • Male sexual assault by another man is occurring more frequently.
  • 52% of college women surveyed reported sexual assault by a date.
  • Sexual assault is an act of violence and power. NOT the aggressive expression of passion.

Children

  • Child abuse is the number one killer of children under five in the United States.
  • Child victims may suffer from long term psychological disorders, pregnancy, venereal disease or other physical problems.
  • The majority of child victims are abused by someone they know and trust; a family member, relative, babysitter or neighbor.
  • Children are 1,500 times more likely to be abused in homes where partner abuse occurs.

Society

  • 78% of those who commit sexual assault as adults were victimized as children
  • Children who grow up in abusive homes are more likely to become abusive partners as adults.
  • 85% of men in Texas prisons today grew up in violent homes.
  • Family violence causes an estimated loss of 3-5 BILLION dollars annually in abuse-related absenteeism.
  • Family violence causes an estimated loss of 100 MILLION dollars annually in abuse-related medical bills.

What are the Red Flags?

Studies have shown that there are some people who are more likely to be sexually aggressive than others. Watch out for people that:

  • Do not listen to you, ignore what you say, talk over you or pretend not to hear you. Such perpetrators generally have little respect for their victims and would be more likely to hear “no” as meaning “convince me.”
  • Ignore your personal space boundaries. Stand or walk too close or touch you without permission.
  • Push you to drink beyond your tolerance level or wait to make a sexual advance until you are extremely intoxicated. Alcohol is the #1 date rape drug.
  • Express anger or aggression frequently. Hostile feelings can easily be translated into hostile acts. Such people often get hostile when someone tells them “no.”
  • Use hostile or possessive language about their victims. They use derogatory language. They may refer to their partner as their possession. This shows that the perpetrator doesn’t see others as human-beings, but as an objects that s/he owns and can do with others what s/he wants.
  • Do what they want regardless of what you want. A person may do this in little ways–for example, by making all the decisions about what you both will do.
  • Decide where to go without asking your opinion–later they may be likely to make the decision about whether you are ready to have sex with them.
  • Try to make you feel guilty, or accuse you of being “uptight” if you resist their sexual overtures.
  • Act excessively jealous or possessive.
  • Prevent you from seeing or talking to friends or family members. Keep you isolated and separated from your support network.
  • Have wrong or unrealistic ideas about women (for example, “women are meant to serve men”). Such perpetrators are not likely to take objections to sex seriously.
  • Drink heavily. A “mean drunk” can often get sexually aggressive, angry, or violent if s/he is rejected.

Safety Tips for First Dates

  • Agree to meet only in very public places.
  • Provide your own transportation for the first few dates.
  • Double date for the first couple of dates.
  • Carry your cell phone.
  • Be the last to leave the date location to ensure you aren’t followed home.
  • And most of all, if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, alert a waiter, bartender, or other person at your location.

Personal Safety Tips

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. If you see anything that makes you feel uneasy or suspicious, go to the nearest place where there are people.
  • Avoid isolated places if you are alone.
  • Always lock your doors.
  • When on a date, learn about your date’s atti­tudes.
  • Make your limits clear before you get into a sexual relationship.
  • If possible, avoid alcohol & other drugs.
  • Don’t leave your drink alone & don’t accept drinks that have already been opened.

 

24-hour Crisis Hotline: 1-800-451-9235

Matagorda County
3010 6th Street   P.O. Box 1820   Bay City,   TX 77414
Local Crisis Line: 979-245-9299

Wharton County
116 E. Burleson Street, Wharton, TX 77488
Local Crisis Line: 979-531-1300