April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual assault is a serious public health issue that affects all communities.The impact of sexual assault can be wide-ranging and can have long-term impacts.

One in five women and one in 71 men will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Sexual Assault Awareness Month calls attention to the fact that not only is it widespread, but sexual assault impacts many segments of the population. It calls all of us to work together to increase awareness, provide services for victims, support survivors, educate our communities, and speak out against harmful attitudes and actions that allow sexual assault to continue.

Some types of sexual assault include:

Child sexual abuse. One in four girls and one in six boys will experience a sexual assault before the age 18. Young people experience heightened rates of sexual violence, and youth ages 12-17 were 2.5 times as likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault.

Sexual abuse and teen dating violence.  Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Nearly one-half of adult sex offenders report committing their first sexual offenses prior to the age of 18.

Sexual assault on campus. As many as one in five women have been sexually assaulted in college, and one in 16 men in college have been victims of an attempted or completed assault.Creating a comprehensive approach to ending sexual violence on campus involves awareness, risk reduction, response, and prevention.

Intimate partner violence and sexual assault.  Intimate Partner Rape, also called Intimate Partner Sexual Violence (IPSV) or Marital Rape, is a rape or sexual assault that occurs between two people who currently have, or have had, a consensual sexual relationship. Intimate Partner Rape may occur in relationships that have an existing pattern of domestic violence. Most states now recognize that rape within a marriage or long-term intimate relationship is illegal and can be prosecuted.

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