Sexual Assault is one of the oldest pandemics on Earth. Men, women and children face sexual violence every day. Domestic And Sexual Abuse Services is available to help men, women and children who have survived sexual violence.
If you are affected by this issue and want to talk,
please call us 24/7/365: 800-828-2023
For resource information in our area please visit the resources tab.
Defining the problem:
Rape and Sexual Violence.
Sexual Violence takes many forms and manifests itself in many different ways. Sexual assault, rape, child sexual assault, elder sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, human-trafficking, are all forms of sexual assault. All of these forms exist in our communities every day, if we acknowledge it or not.
Sexual assault in the sate of Michigan is defined broadly: Anytime, anyone does anything of a sexual nature without the verbal, expressed, and active consent of everyone involved. The law is gender neutral, and sexual violence can exist in:
The state clearly says that someone cannot consent to sexual activity under the age of 16, or who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Resistance is not required, saying 'no' is not required for what happened to be classified as sexual assault.
Sexual Assault is never the Survivor's fault. We need to put the blame where it belongs, on the people who commit the crimes.
Rape Myths: We've all heard them...
Sexual assault is seeped in myth and mystery. It seems unique to sexual violence, that in the 21st century we can have myth-based thinking throughout our society, from the classroom on through government offices, our homes, our justice system, and our media outlets about the causes and effect of sexual violence.
We have compiled a list of the top 4 sexual assault myths that we as advocates in the field hear on a near-daily basis.
Myth: Rape is committed by a knife-wielding stranger coming out of the dark.
Fact: Most sexual violence is committed by a perpetrator who chooses victims he/she knows.
over 75% of sexual assaults are non-stranger
(Department of Justice National Crime Victimization survey 2005)
Myth: If someone gets "raped" when she is drunk, or wearing sleazy clothes, then she is responsible for letting things get out of control.
Fact: Perpetrators purposely use alcohol to make someone more controllable and no one under the influence can consent to sexual contact.
The perpetrator bears full responsibility.
Myth: Women and children who say they were raped are lying to get something. (attention, someone in trouble, money, to not look bad etc.)
Fact: It takes 1,000 sexual assaults to be reported before one truly-false report is generated. Less than 5% are ever reported to police, and 33% of survivors never tell anyone.
Myth: He was such a "nice guy" he didn't mean to do it.
Fact: Sexual assault is premeditated, and thoughtful choice that perpetrators make. On average, a person who commits sexual violence will commit anywhere between 6-7 acts or rape, and dozens more of other violence.
(Lisak, Miller 2009)
When In Doubt...say
"I Believe You"
Because a friend or family member is typically the first person a victim confides in after an assault, each indivdiual's personal reaction is the first step in a long path toward justice and healing. Knowing how to respond is critical - a negative response can worsen the trauma and foster an environment where perpetrators face zero consequences for thier crimes.
Because rapists attack an average of six times, one failed response can equal five more victims. Start by believing. This will lead the way toward stopping this cycle, by creating a positive community response, informing the public, uniting allies and supporters, and improving our personal reactions. The goal is to change outcomes for victims, one response at a time.