Sexual Assault: Causes and Consequences

Sexual Assault described in technical terms is defined as any sort of sexual activity between two or more people in which one of the people involved is involved against his or her will. (3) The description of “against his or her will” extends to varying degrees of aggression, ranging from indirect pressure to a direct physical attack. While sexual assaults are associated with the crime of rape, it may cover assaults which would not be considered rape. What constitutes a sexual assault is determined by the laws of the jurisdiction where the assault takes place, which vary considerably, and are influenced by local social and cultural attitudes.

Every year, an estimated 300,000 women are raped and 3. 7 million are confronted with unwanted sexual activity. In addition, of the approximately 900,000 children who are maltreated each year, 9% are sexually abused. Depending on jurisdiction, sexual assault may include rape, forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration, forced sexual intercourse, inappropriate touching, forced kissing, Child sexual abuse, or the torture of the victim in a sexual manner. According to the Crime Victim Research and Treatment Center 1. 3 adult women are sexually assaulted in the United States every minute.

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Of these assaults 84% of the attacks occur by someone the victim knows. The Senate Judiciary Committee the United States sighted the United States as having the highest rate of sexual assaults per capita in the world. Unfortunately the majority of sexual assaults that occur against women go unreported. Only 31% of sexual assaults that occurred in 1996 were reported to law enforcement authorities. The problem of sexual assault is increasing. In the year 2000 the number of sexual assaults against women had increased by 16. 5%. Sexual assaults on children are normally viewed far more seriously than those on an adult.

This is because of the innocence of the child victim, and also because of the long-term psychological impact that such assaults have on the child. Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent abuses a child for sexual stimulation. Forms of CSA include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities (regardless of the outcome), indecent exposure of the genitals to a child, displaying pornography to a child, actual sexual contact against a child, physical contact with the child’s genitals, viewing of the child’s genitalia without physical contact, or using a child to produce child pornography.

The effects of child sexual abuse include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, propensity to re-victimization in adulthood, and physical injury to the child, among other problems. Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest, and can result in more serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest. Approximately 15% to 25% of women and 5% to 15% of men were sexually abused when they were children.

Most sexual abuse offenders are acquainted with their victims; approximately 30% are relatives of the child, most often brothers, fathers, mothers, sisters and uncles or cousins; around 60% are other acquaintances such as friends of the family, babysitters, or neighbors; strangers are the offenders in approximately 10% of child sexual abuse cases. Studies have shown that the psychological damage is often particularly severe when sexual assault is committed by parents against children due to the incestuous nature of the assault.

Incest between a child or adolescent and a related adult has been identified as the most widespread form of child sexual abuse with a huge capacity for damage to a child. The United States government has various centers where victims of a sexual assault may go and get treatment. If a person has been sexually assaulted, they should be examined and treated for sexually transmitted diseases with antibiotics. The victim should see a health care provider as soon as possible and get checked again in 2 weeks to make sure that no sexually transmitted diseases have developed.

Most women are given emergency contraception in the form of birth control pills that decrease the chance that pregnancy will result from the assault. The sexually assaulted victim may be treated for hepatitis B infection if the assailant is likely to have had hepatitis (a series of shots over 2 months). They will be tested for AIDS and pregnancy (for women). AIDS testing should be repeated every 3 months for 6 months. If it has been 6 months and you have not had a positive HIV test, it is not likely that any infection occurred or will occur. Sexually assaulted victims should get counseling, and the incident should be discussed.

Sexual assault is an awful experience. The goal for all victims is to recover and put the bad event behind them. Sexual assault affects not only the victim, but the loved ones and family of the survivor, as well as the community. Family members and friends many times not only have to help their loved one manage the aftereffects of the assault but also have to deal with their own feelings about the victimization of someone they care about. Those that live with the survivor may become concerned about their security and may have similar feelings and responses as those the survivor experiences.

Family members in some communities can find support groups for loved ones of those who have been victims of sexual assault. The immediate neighborhood as well may be affected by the victimization of their neighbor and become more concerned about their personal safety. They may respond to the assault by establishing a neighborhood watch program or installing better street lighting. Professionals in the community who have direct contact with the survivor may develop protocols, or guidelines for response, to sexual assault victims to ensure the needs of survivors are being addressed within their respective agencies.

To be of assistance to a survivor one should: Listen without judging; Let them know the assault was not their fault; Let them know they did what was necessary to prevent further harm; Reassure the survivor that he or she is cared for and loved; Encourage the sexual assault victim to seek medical attention; Encourage the survivor to talk about the assault with an advocate, mental health professional or someone they trust; and Let them know they do not have to manage this crisis alone.

Reference Page “Statistics | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. ” RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network | RAINN: The Nation’s Largest Anti-sexual Assault Organization. One of “America’s 100 Best Charities” —Worth Magazine. Web. 03 July 2010. . “What Is Sexual Assault? ” Home. Web. 03 July 2010. .

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Sexual Assault: Causes and Consequences. (2018, May 25). Retrieved from