You are not alone

Statistics on sexual assault are facts

 

We talk about how many women were raped last year, not about how many men raped women.” Jackson Katz

 

What a powerful sentence to be coming out of a man. The conversation on sexual assault is shifting, and that is because of how hard and non-stop women all over the world are fighting to stand up for themselves, to make people understand that rape is not a women’s issue: it’s a men’s issue.

Some men are little by little also raising their voices to stand up for women. They are realizing that their mothers, their aunts, their sisters, their wives, their daughters, their cousins, their friends and any woman they know has a chance of becoming a statistic of sexual assault. And it’s something that needs to come to an end, but this is not possible if men never step up to assume responsibility for their male privilege.

We understand that not all men are the same, just as all women are not the same. The problem here is not against men, but about the way that a men’s issue has been turned around to be made a women’s one.

It’s imperative that we acknowledge that it’s not women’s way of dressing or their being alone in a bad place at a bad time, or even their choice of drink; it’s the behavior of the man who raped her that caused the problem. It’s the way we have raised our children to become the men they are today.

Common to our society is the issue of sexism. Men are taught, from a very early age, to be manly, to not cry, to behave dominantly at all costs over women, and this is not the world we want to live in. Men should be able to be sensitive, to respect women for simply being human, not only because we are their mothers or sisters, but because it’s a human right to have our humanity respected and accepted.

The statistics show why fighting for women’s protection is far more urgent than men’s. Note that we’re stressing it is more urgent, not more important. We know that men are also subjects of sexual assault, and it is something women also fight for, but the number of women falling under the category are far more overwhelming.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, sexual assault in the United States goes as follows:


“1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.”

The difference in numbers between women and men is unbelievable.

 

“51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance.”

Being an intimate partner does not entitle anybody to force themselves on their significant other. The act of intimacy has to be a consensus EVERY SINGLE TIME. Otherwise, let’s call it what it is: rape.

“Almost half (49.5%) of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women were subjected to some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.”

Women who are viewed by men as part of a group considered a minority have higher chances of becoming victims. Let’s change the narrative by protecting women of all fronts, not just one group.

“91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and 9% are male.”

But according to society, it’s just a women’s issue.

“In 8 out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator. 8% of rapes occur while the victim is at work.”

This is one of the most outrageous statistics to read. Knowing that in most cases the victim knew the perpetrator is frightening. People you trust, people you may even care about, people you talk to and interact with: they become the ones who hurt you. We need to have better enforcement of the law, better protection of victims and a higher and greater disposition on behalf of everybody to believe women who report abuse and assault.

It’s unacceptable that “Rape is the most under-reported crime with 63% of sexual assaults not reported to police.” And this is because victims feel they will be dismissed. They think they won’t be taken seriously or they will be shamed about it. They believe their families will blame them, and their lives will be completely shattered.

In other statistics, we found the cost and impact of sexual assault in the United States:

“The lifetime cost of rape per victim is $122,461. Annually, rape costs the U.S. more than any other crime with $127 billion, followed by assault with $93 billion, murder with $71 billion, and drunk driving, including fatalities with $61 billion.”

Then, why is rape being so swept under the rug? Why is it being put as false, as misleading, as dismissible? It’s really a wonder.

“81% of women report significant short or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Health care is 36% higher for women who were physically and sexually abused as a child.”

Let’s keep in mind that becoming a victim of abuse does not only affect someone physically. The implications are emotional and mental as well as financial, social and moreover.

“20% - 25% of college women are victims of forced sex during their time in college. A 2002 study revealed that 63.3% of men at one university who self-reported acts qualifying as rape or attempted rape admitted to committing repeat rapes. More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault. 27% of college women have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact. Nearly two thirds of college students experience sexual harassment.”

The rape culture has become so intimidating that coming forward with an accusation has far more implications and consequences for the victim than for the actual perpetrator. This is one of the main reasons why women decide to not report any circumstance regarding sexual assault or harassment. The general feeling is: “They won’t believe me.” It’s not fair to have girls and women threatened by their own silence.

If you have been a victim of any kind of harassment or sexual abuse or assault, know you are not alone and you have nothing to fear. Justice should be on your side and help is available. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You were in no part whatsoever to blame for what you had to go through.

Report the situation. You may be helping save other women from going through it all with the same perpetrator.

Here are some online resources you can access if you want to get help or report a crime, because sexual assault IS a crime too:

https://greatist.com/live/sexual-assault-survivor-resources

https://www.nsvrc.org/survivors

https://www.vanderbilt.edu/projectsafe/supporting-survivors/

https://www.stopitnow.org/ohc-content/adult-survivor-resources-and-support

https://www.publichealth.org/resources/sexual-abuse/

Remember, you are not alone. There is a whole community of people in the world who are advocates for helping and protecting women. We are proud to be on that list, and we encourage you to become part of the solution too. At Alana Athletica, we empower, educate and employ women in Sri Lanka, who have been sexually abused, with the help of our customers when they buy one of our pants. Each pant sponsors self-defense classes, training, and education for many women. By helping them gain financial independence and education, we are supporting their families and communities as well, seeding the path for personal growth and success.

Thank you for believing. Together we can change the world. Let’s do this!

Love, Alana Athletica

#MoveWithImpact

References

Sexual Assault in the US. Get statistics. (2018) in National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Retrieved from https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics

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