Straight Talk: Sexual Assault

Straight Talk

Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity or sexual contact that a person does not give their consent to.  It is also known as sexual abuse or sexual violence.  Typically, sexual assault includes three categories: 1) penetration of a body part by another body part or object 2) contact of genitalia or other intimate body parts or 3) exposure to genitalia or other body parts.  Sexual assault is related to sexual harassment in which a hostile environment is created using inappropriate jokes, comments, looks or other body language that has sexual connotations.  Both sexual assault and sexual harassment are considered crimes and are reportable offenses. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, four of five women who are raped, are raped before the age of 25.  40% of women who have been raped (which amounts to 2 of 5 women) were assaulted before the age of 18.  Additionally, while both women and men commit sexual assault, more than 90% of perpetrators or crimes against women are men.  The National Sexual Violence Resource Center identified that more than ¼ of male victims of assault experienced their first assault when they were 10 years old or younger.  Further, 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives. 

Sexual assault can happen to anyone, including children, elders, and those with disabilities.  Additionally, most sexual assaults are committed by someone that the victim knows, like a friend, acquaintance, relative, a date or even a partner.  Sexual assaults can include marital rape (being forced into sexual activity by one’s spouse) and drug facilitated rape, more commonly known as being roofied.  This is because one of the most used date rape drugs is called Rohypnol, an odorless and colorless drug that can easily be slipped into someone’s drink without them noticing.  It is specifically used to incapacitate someone for the purpose of committing an assault. Often a person doesn’t even know they’ve been roofied because they’ve already been drinking.  However, some clear indicators of being roofied are disorientation, loss of consciousness, dizziness, throwing up, and even amnesia.

If you have any questions or want to talk to someone contact the Counseling Center who provides services for these types of situations.  Often people don’t realize that counseling services are covered by most major health insurances.  If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Hooko LLC at 808-375-7712 or visit online at www.hookollc.com

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