In the last few weeks, more than a dozen women have come forward claiming that Donald Trump sexually assaulted them. Although rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment have become major buzz words recently, sadly many of these crimes remain underreported.
What is Sexual Assault?
Millions of Americans are sexually assaulted every day. Defined as any type of forced or coerced sexual contact or behavior that happens without consent, sexual assault can include rape and attempted rape, child molestation, and sexual harassment or threats.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:
- One in five women will be raped at some point in their lives
- Nearly one in 10 women has been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime
- 91% of the victims of rape and sexual assault are female
- One in 5 women are sexually assaulted while in college
- More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault
- In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted them
- Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police
What to if you’ve been sexually assaulted
If you are ever sexually assaulted or raped, the first thing to do is get away from the perpetrator. Get to a safe location and be sure to preserve all evidence of the assault by not bathing, washing your hands, brushing your teeth, eating or smoking. That way the local police will have physical evidence from the person who assaulted you.
Although you may feel fear, shame, guilt, or shock, it is extremely important to reach out for help immediately. Call 911, or go to the emergency room to be examined and treated for injuries. The hospital can give you medicine to prevent HIV and other STDs, as well as emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy.
You can also call these organizations any time, day or night, to get support. The calls are free and confidential:
- National Sexual Assault Hotline , 800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also chat with a trained hotline worker on the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline , 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TTY)