One in four girls are sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday.
One is six boys are sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday, and are much less likely to report it than women.
Approximately 85% of the offenders are known by the victim.
Basic Skills Necessary to Healing
Although the healing process can take a long time, it is possible; remember that hope comes from action. There are a few main skills that survivors must gain.
Building Support Systems:
People that will support you through life changes experiences - whether they are counselors, advocates, family members, or trusted friends - are essential.
Anger is an appropriate and healthy response to sexual assault. Every victim feels anger differently, and handles it in a different way. Some victims become angry at themselves while others change their anger into sadness. Understandably, anger is a scary feeling. Those victims who dream or fantasize of retribution may be distressed at the anger or destructiveness of their emotion. This anger can be externalized (which some victims may do through physical activity or art) and directed to the proper object: the assailant.
Our senses dull when we feel unable to handle pain and grief. When children do not receive the physical, emotional, and spiritual nurturing they need, their brain stops recognizing the warning signals that our senses usually pick up. Also, the brain has difficulty recognizing pleasant feelings. Nurture yourself to reclaim your senses; keep a journal, take a long walk, go fishing, meditate or do crafts. These are positive activities that can influence our senses. Pay attention to your senses: Smell. Sound. Sight. Touch. Take time to enjoy and fully experience these senses, they are at the core of our beings.
Make Your Way:
Focus on what you have already accomplished! Keep a journal, or make a list and put it where you will see it every day. Writing is one of the best ways to release all the emotion in the healing process.
Pledge to End Rape and Violence:
Pay attention to cries for help, and promise to be a different kind of person. Make an effort to value equality and use your strength to accept responsibility, and assist in creating safer communities.
"Why did this happen to me?"
You have the right to ask this question, and deserve to receive an answer. No matter the circumstance, it comes down to a decision one person made to control another person.
There is no shame in doing what you have to do in order to survive rape and sexual assault.